Growing Old Together

Published January 7, 2015

Dog-trainingBringing home a dog is not a decision to be taken lightly. Like in many homes, your pet will probably become like a member of the family – with all the pros and cons that entails! If you believe that bigger is better, then a large dog might be the right pet for you. Large dog breeds are often mature, friendly, and gentle, making them ideal family pets – especially if there are children around. These characteristics also make the perfect for small homes, so do not rule out a large dog simply because you live in an apartment. All that is required for your dog to be healthy and happy is an adequate amount of exercise; this holds true for small and large breeds.

Large breeds can also guard your property effectively. Their sheer size often proves intimidating, scaring off intruders. Many breeds, such as Giant Schanuzers, Akitas, and Bullmastiffs, are also naturally protective of their owners, making them ideal protectors. If you’re thinking of getting yourself a giant canine companion, your can choose from among a number of large dog breeds. The playful Labrador Retriever and the iconic Great Dane are wonderful companions for children, making them beloved family favorites. Alaskan Malamutes is another popular choice for families with kids – they are gentle and love having fun with their families! Other large dog breeds include Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Akitas, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

As with any breed, owners of large dogs may have to deal with certain health concerns, such as orthopedic problems or hormonal imbalances. Many pet owners also get worried when their dog starts shaking – a condition that can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Often, the shaking is caused by a relatively less serious phenomenon, like stress, excitement, exertion, or anxiety. In such a case, the dog should be soothed and calmed down by the owner in a quiet, comfortable place. A sudden drop of temperature in the environment may also be the reason. Dogs also shake when they have fever or are in pain. If the fever is high or the pain is accompanied by restlessness or other changes in behavior, you should call your vet. Other more serious reasons that might cause your dog to shake include allergies, poisoning, low blood calcium, and kidney disorders. If the shaking continues for a long time and is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention.

In general, larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs. For instance, A Great Dane is considered a senior at the age of 5-6 years and a Golden Retriever at 8-10 years. As your dog ages, it will face a few challenges along the way. You can help your pet live a healthy and happy life up till the very end by caring for it appropriately. Arthritis or other degenerative diseases might take a toll on your dog’s activity and energy levels, making it difficult to play for long, use the stairs, or find a comfortable position. Problems like dental disease and diabetes can also cause great discomfort. To prevent such health issues, ensure good oral health and appropriate amounts of exercise. It is crucial for your aging dog to be on a high quality diet and maintain an optimal body weight since excess weight is behind a number of health issues for older dogs. You should also schedule regular checkups with the vet – a thorough examination can find hidden diseases and nip certain problems in the bud.

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