As your beloved Husky ages, special awareness should be given to his health in order to guarantee the best quality of life during his golden years. In addition, a number of preventative measures should be taken to defend against age-related diseases before they begin. Your Siberian Husky can remain healthy, happy, and active well into old-age with proper care and a vigilant attitude.
A Siberian Husky typically reaches senior status around 8 – 9 years old. At this time, talk to your veterinarian about performing a senior blood during your dog’s annual exam. Since Huskies can be prone to disorders such as hypothyroidism, this blood test will help you and the veterinarian monitor for abnormalities in the thyroid, as well as in the kidneys, liver, and blood. Siberian Huskies are also susceptible to a number of eye diseases, so if not already doing so, begin incorporating an eye exam into the annual routine, as well.
If your Husky is overweight, help him reach an optimal weight in order to lessen the effects of age-related complaints such as arthritis, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease. Similar to humans, a dog’s metabolism slows down as he or she grows older. Check the label on your dog’s food and begin to feed the recommended amount for a senior dog. You can also trade calorie-filled treats for pieces of cooked fruit or vegetables in order to shave a few pounds from your dog. Your aging Husky should always have access to fresh water, even if this means placing multiple bowls around the house. An indication your dog is growing older is increased water consumption, which suggest his liver and kidneys do not function as well anymore. Do not be alarmed when this happens, but do be vigilant for any extreme and sudden changes in thirst, and contact a veterinarian if noted.
Check your Husky’s breath the next time he or she goes in for a big wet one. Although bad breath is typical for dogs, be aware that extremely foul or sulfurous odors can be a sign that something is amiss, such as a decaying tooth. Be sure to check with a veterinarian to rule out any serious, underlying causes for your dog’s halitosis.
Exercise is important for your Siberian Husky at all life stages, and should continue into his senior years. Even though your dog’s activity level has likely lessened, a daily walk or vigorous romp in the yard is important for keeping blood circulation going and controlling painful ailments, such as arthritis. Providing mentally stimulating activities is still important, too. Continue offering interactive toys, going for walks in new areas, and working on obedience long after these past times seem necessary
Your Siberian Husky can arrive at old age with grace and dignity with proper preventative care, exercise, good nutrition, and love. Watching a friend grow old can be hard, but knowing that you are giving him the best you possibly can (even if it means being the “mean” mom or dad and saying “no” to extra treats) will help you and your dog fully enjoy his golden years together.