When we think of a beagle, it’s easy to imagine a gay group of puppies or a sweet dog running all over the place in the prime of his/her life.
Every owner, however, knows that there is some twist of fate and that a dog lives shorter than a human does. Therefore, sooner or later, you will have to deal with their aging.
There is nothing to be scared of: this is a natural process and a part of life!
If you always took care of your friend, if you spent together unforgettable moments and were able to build a real relationship, you have many reasons to continue to be happy and fulfilled during their old age.
What happens to his body?
Let’s start by saying that the aging processes begin when the dog reaches his/her maturity (even though we can’t notice it), after his first two years of life. This should not worry you because it’s completely normal.
As the years pass, their metabolism slows down, making him/her less lively, diminishing the strength of his muscles and making them tired more quickly. Some dogs tend to gain weight while others lose it because they have a decreased appetite.
Arthritis, as well as obesity, is quite common in older dogs because with there is a decreased ability of their intestine to absorb nutrients (including calcium) with aging. Also, the low calcium intake may lead easier to bone fracture, even without suffering any significant trauma.
Your friend’s intestines become less active, and constipation may be more frequent.
White hairs will begin to appear, even in colored areas of its body, and the skin becomes less elastic. The mouth may be more exposed to tartar, various irritations and the loss of some teeth (which can further decrease the appetite if, as we said before, your dog has already started having less of an appetite).
What can we do, when a Beagle gets older?
To help him/her enjoy this period of their life, it is first and foremost very useful to have done all periodic check-ups that the veterinary suggested in the past, and continue to do so.
This way you can monitor the progress of his health and may have the opportunity to act in time if any health issues arise. These questions, which if otherwise left undisturbed, could cause more severe damage. Ask the veterinarian to suggest which would be the best diet that suits the conditions of your buddy, helping him/her stay active and healthy.
Also, respect your dog’s time needs for each daily task (usually an older dog is too slow or clumsy, and this must not be experienced by him or by us as a humiliating failure).
For example, if at a younger age he/she had no trouble reaching his kennel getting up some stairs, you should now check if this effort is not excessive and make sure it does not cause any pain. Alternatively, you may change a location of his/her kennel so that it would be easier to reach.
Let’s avoid carrying them, instead of letting he/she go autonomously, and let’s not destroy the rules of good management of the “herd” that you created during their life.
For example, you still shouldn’t let your friend have some of our food while we’re eating or letting it sleep in your bed (unless he was already doing it before) even though you may feel more tenderness or compassion.
This will help them to continue living his/her life peacefully. The best way to help an elderly dog, which is overall still healthy, is to continue treating them like a normal dog (which it still is). Never stop showing your trust, because he/she will never stop believing you!
Beyond new physical demands, if you continue to treat your dog as a “regular dog,” its slower movements or the fact that he will get tired more quickly will not be a burden to anyone.
These are simple, but necessary expedients for you and them to enjoy old age.