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Caring for a Senior Dog

June 1, 2015

Is your canine pal beginning to slow down? Have you noticed grey fur on Fido’s muzzle lately? Dogs can become seniors anywhere between six and twelve years. Large dogs age fastest, while small dogs may not reach their golden years for well over a decade. In this article, a Niagara Falls vet discusses caring for a senior dog.

Diet

Ask your vet for recommendations about when to switch Fido onto a senior formula of pet food. Dogs with bone and joint problems, such as arthritis, may benefit from supplements, such as Omega-3 fish oil, which helps lubricate joints.

Exercise

You don’t want to over-exercise a senior dog, but don’t let Fido get too lazy, either. Exercise will help keep your pup’s muscles in shape, and prevent him from getting obese. Take the old guy for relaxing walks daily.

Mobility

Just like people, dogs often get stiff and sore as they age. Consider getting a pet ramp or doggy stairs. This will make it much easier for your canine pal to get in and out of the car, or on and off your bed.

Comfort

Senior dogs are much more sensitive to temperature extremes than their younger counterparts. Try not to bring Fido from hot to cool temperatures, or vice versa, too quickly. Keep your pooch indoors in bad weather.

Bedding

We strongly recommend getting your canine buddy a good orthopedic bed. The extra support will help Fido rest more comfortably at night.

Limitations

Just like people, dogs sometimes experience a decline in vision, hearing, and mental functions as they age. Making minor changes to accommodate the old guy will help him age gracefully. For instance, if Fido’s vision deteriorates, try to keep the floors free of objects that he could trip over.

Veterinary Care

Keep up with your pet’s veterinary appointments, and watch your furry friend carefully for signs of sickness. Changes in appetite, thirst, or behavior; weight loss or gain; vomiting; and diarrhea can all be signs of illness in our canine pals.

Love

Senior dogs are just as cute, loving, and loyal as younger pooches. Many people find they truly enjoy their canine pals’ golden years, as senior dogs tend to be very calm and easy-going. Treasure this special time with your pet!

Does your senior dog need veterinary care? Please contact us, your Niagara Falls veterinary clinic, for all of Fido’s veterinary care needs.

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