Did you know that most of our canine companions enter their golden years around age seven? Size plays an important role here, as large breeds age more quickly than small dogs. However, no matter how big your pooch is, his care needs will change as he ages. Here, a Bellevue, WA vet offers some tips on helping Fido age gracefully.
Proper nutrition is crucial to your pet’s health. Offer your dog a good, senior-formula food. Pay close attention to portion control. Fido won’t be as active as he once was, so even giving him just a little too much food will put him at risk of becoming obese. Your furry friend may also benefit from certain supplements, such as fish oil, glucosamine, and/or omega 3 and 6 oils. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Senior dogs typically benefit from more frequent veterinary appointments. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.
A good bed is a must. A thin pad won’t offer Fido the cushion and support he needs to sleep comfortably. Orthopedic beds are usually the best option for older pets. If you have enough room, get your canine buddy a few different ones. (Note: Incontinence can be an issue with elderly dogs, so we recommend choosing beds with washable, waterproof covers for them.)
Just like people, dogs slow down as they age. However, Fido will still need some activity to stay fit and prevent muscle atrophy. Most pups need at least a daily walk. Warm water swims can also be great, assuming your pup likes sw. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Keep up with Fido’s grooming needs! Dogs are much more comfortable with soft, clean fur. Dental care is also important, as are claw trims. Long nails can make it hard for your pooch to get good traction. They’re also uncomfortable. Your furry buddy may adjust his stride to compensate, which will strain his bones and joints. He may also need jackets or raincoats for chilly and/or damp days.
No matter how old Fido is, he’ll still want nothing more than to hang out with you. Cherish this special time in your furry pal’s life! Pay lots of attention to him, and keep that tail going.
Do you have questions about senior dog care? Call us, your Bellevue, WA animal hospital, today!