Senior Dog Care
Our healthcare team loves senior pets. These special companions have been loyal wonderful family members and deserve to be comfortable and honored in their senior years. There are steps you can take to keeping your senior well cared for and to live life to its fullest. Our veterinary team would be honored to partner with your family in the care of your senior canine family member.
When does a dog become a senior?
Different breeds age at different rates. Large breed dogs do not typically live as long as small breed dogs. A large Great Dane can be senior at 5 years of age and a Shih Tzu can be senior at 8 years of age. Age is not a disease though, so you can have a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever that still runs and plays, has excellent organ function and only a little greying of the muzzle. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of senior pets and extend the length of their time with you as well. The two go hand in hand.
What are common senior dog health issues?
Some of the issues seen with senior dogs are reduced mobility, kidney disease, liver disease, reduced vision and reduced hearing to name a few. Regular examinations are important to help identify changes so early intervention can happen. Arthritis is common in senior pets, so pain management is paramount to help prevent loss of mobility. There is a lot we can do for senior dogs and we consider it an honor to care for these special souls.
How should I care for my senior dog?
Proper nutrition is needed to keep your senior healthy. You are what you eat applies to pets too. To maintain muscle mass and mobility, safe and regular exercise is needed. Brush your senior regularly to prevent matting of the coat, being gentle as they may have some sore spots as they get older. Your senior dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth which can lead to slips and injury. Non-slip mats on non-carpeted areas are important as well. Warm comfortable bedding is needed for seniors to lay on where they may be spending more time lying than chasing the ball they once did. Seniors are more susceptible to cold and heat, so it is important to make sure they are kept warm on colder says and kept cool on hot days. Always ensure your senior has access to cool water to drink. Senior dogs should be examined by a Veterinarian once to twice per year. Annual blood work can provide early detection of systemic illness which means early intervention to help slow the progression of the disease.