Tips for Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy

caring for your senior dog

Just like their humans, dogs experience the physical and mental difficulties of old age, manifesting as arthritis, heart disease, and loss of vision or hearing (just to name a few). Just like we care for our two-legged loved ones when these problems arise, so too, should we attend to our loyal and loving four-legged family members!

Perhaps you have noticed that your dog, who couldn’t stand to be without you, now prefers to spend more time outside slowly roaming or sleeping. Slower reactions to sights and sounds may be noticeable now, along with an increase in restlessness and agitation…even nipping his people!

While this can hurt our hearts, it is important to remember that this is the normal aging process, just like in people; and now, more than ever, your dog is going to need you to make sure they stay healthy.

Read Saratoga Dog Lovers – Tips for Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy!

 

  • Become informed about the conditions that afflict an older dog. Hip dysplasia, arthritis, kidney and heart problems, cancer, obesity, and cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) – a severe mental decline in dogs and cats – are some, but not of all, of the conditions your dog may experience. Being aware that these conditions exist, will help you help your furry friend.
  • Establish an even closer relationship with your veterinarian. In Saratoga Springs NY and the upstate NY area, there are many wonderful vets that can help you in determining the proper care of your furry senior citizen. Remember, dogs can’t tell you if there is something wrong, so regular visits to your vet can establish if he or she may be in pain or if things aren’t functioning properly. Your vet can help you decide on treatment options ensure your dog’s golden years are happy ones!
  • Give your aging pooch the best food you can afford. Your vet will concur that food rich in Omega 3 & 6 will keep that coat shiny; high-quality protein will keep their joints and bones strong; and an appropriate blend of carbohydrates will help them stay energized. Do not overfeed! Our tendency to want to make our pets happy and comfortable can lead to obesity if we are not careful. Ask your vet if you are unsure of how many calories sweet Coco should be consuming each day.
  • Just because your dog is growing older and may not have the physical stamina she once had, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to play! Recognizing your dog’s limitations, however, is important to make sure you both enjoy a little exercise and nobody gets hurt. Refrain from throwing balls that will make an older dog have to jump, putting his legs and hips at risk for injury. Search for indoor toys that will stimulate his brain and always, always go for walks! Taking your dog places with you is another wonderful way to keep her stimulated and happy.
  • Keep your dog clean and brush those teeth! Oral disease can lead to heart, kidney, and lung diseases, so brush your pooch’s teeth. Just like elderly people, elderly dogs can find it difficult to take care of themselves, and even forget to. Therefore, it is up to you to make sure that they stay groomed, free of fleas and ticks, and have clean and comfortable bedding. Need a groomer? Groomers in Saratoga Springs can help you keep your senior pooch in tip-top condition!
  • Note behavior changes. Changes in demeanor, appetite, urinary, bowel, or sleeping habits can be a sign of disease, pain, or other problems. Changes in routines or behaviors should result in an immediate trip to your vet!
  • Going on vacation? Don’t leave your older pooch alone. Board your beloved canine at one several wonderful dog kennels in Saratoga Springs NY or hire a professional pet sitter!
  • Always have contact information ready for 24 hour emergency vets in the Saratoga Springs and surrounding areas!