Senior Pet Care: Frequently Asked Questions
It is easy to add happiness, health, and years of life to your aging pup. We are happy to guide you from our office, but there is a lot you can do from home as well. Here are some simple ways to care for your older dogs:
1. Schedule regular checkups for your companion. As dogs age, they’re more prone to health issues, including arthritis, heart, and kidney disease. Stay on top of your pet’s health by taking them for checkups at minimum annually, as needed for periodic blood work per discussion with your vet, and as needed when unusual symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite appear.
2. Keep active together. Dogs, just like their humans, slow down with age. Exercise is necessary to keep their bodies healthy. Your pup may not have as much energy as it did in its youth, but it still needs time outdoors to feel the wind in its fur and to stretch out those legs! But be aware as to how much activity you encourage- only you know your dog best. Take it easy and be attentive their physical limitations and energy levels.
3. Make it easy for your pup to get around. With health conditions like arthritis, your dog might need some help doing simple things. A portable ramp or set of mini-stairs can make it easier for older dogs to get into your bed and snuggle, or to get into the car without jumping. To prevent slipping on hardwood floors, consider rugs, mats, and stair treads. Just because your older dog might be heavy to lift, it doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy the full range of their space or go for a good ride to the beach.
4. Help Fido catch lots of Zzzs. A good night’s rest is important for any dog, especially your old friend. Memory foam dog beds keep older pups cozy. There are pet beds out there that retain heat, perfect for achy joints. If you’re the DIY type, there’s no shortage of ideas for handmade dog beds. Regardless of what type of bed you decide on for your buddy, always remember that lots of clean padding or cushy towels are essential.
5. Keep doggo to an age-appropriate diet. Just like humans, dogs need changes in their diet as they get older. Their metabolism and needs change with age, hormones, health conditions, and activity level. Some dogs are prone to rapid weight gain, while others shed too many pounds in their old age or have muscle atrophy. It’s important to purchase pet food that meets their needs. You are always welcome to speak to a technician or a vet in office or by phone to understand those needs and receive dietary recommendations.