Did you know that dogs don’t all age at the same rate? Larger pups enter their golden years fastest, with some becoming seniors as early as age six. Small breeds, on the other hand, may not reach their golden years until they are ten, eleven, or even older. Medium-sized dogs usually fall somewhere in between. No matter where your pooch falls in these groups, sooner or later you will notice him slowing down and starting to go a bit grey. A Wichita, KS vet discusses senior dog care below.
Older pups may spend as much as half of their time snoozing. Fido won’t sleep very comfortably on a thin pad. Make sure he has a comfy bed to snuggle up in!
Another thing you can do to keep your canine buddy comfortable is get him some elevated dishes. Your pooch will have to splay his legs to eat from bowls on the floor. This is quite uncomfortable, and can strain his neck and back.
Many senior dogs have trouble climbing stairs, jumping onto beds and couches, or getting in and out of cars. Consider getting Fido some pet ramps or stairs to help him get around more easily.
Paw problems can become very painful at this stage of Fido’s life. Keep your furry buddy’s nails clipped, and use paw balm or wax to protect his ‘toe beans’ from chemicals, abrasions, and hot or cold surfaces.
Fido won’t be as zoomy as he used to be, but he’ll still need regular activity. We recommend taking older dogs out for at least a daily walk. Let your canine pal pick the pace, and head in when he seems to look tired.
Your vet may recommend bringing Fido in more often as he grows older, so his health can be closely monitored. This is very important, as it’s always beneficial when issues are caught and treated early on. If you notice any signs of sickness, such as fever, lethargy, respiratory issues, or unusual behavior, call your vet immediately.
It can be bittersweet watching your furry bff grow older. However, this is a special time in Fido’s life. Pay lots of attention to the pooch, and keep that tail going!
Do you have questions or concerns about caring for an older dog? Contact us, your Wichita, KS veterinary clinic, today!