Dogs are wonderful and loyal companions, who stay faithfully by our sides throughout all of life’s ups and downs. However, your canine companion will go through his life stages much more quickly than you will. As Fido approaches his golden years, his needs will also change. A La Mesa, CA vet discusses senior dog care in this article.
Your four-legged friend will need to see his veterinarian a bit more often as he grows older. Senior dogs have elevated risks of developing several different health conditions, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, and diabetes. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, grumpiness, reduced appetite, and/or respiratory issues. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these red flags.
While you don’t want to overexert your four-legged friend, you shouldn’t let him become a couch potato, either. Most pups need at least a daily walk. Supervised swimming is also fine, assuming Fido enjoys it. Playing will also give your pet a good doggy workout. Keep sessions short and sweet, and experiment with different playthings. Senior dogs often prefer softer toys, or ones that are brightly colored, light up, and/or make noise. Ask your vet for more information.
At this stage in Fido’s life, keeping him comfortable will be much more important than keeping him entertained. Comfy beds, raised dishes, and pet ramps or stairs are small touches that will make life easier for your beloved pet. You’ll also want to keep up with Fido’s grooming needs, including nail trims and dental care. Keep in mind that older dogs are much more sensitive to temperature changes than young pooches are. Limit Fido’s outdoor time when it’s hot or cold out.
One of the most important things you can do for Fido is simply make sure that he feels loved and safe. You may find that your dog somehow becomes even more adorable and lovable as he enters his golden years. Older dogs are often very calm and affectionate, and are well past problematic behaviors like digging and chewing. Your furry best friend just wants to spend time with you, and collect ear scritches and belly rubs.
Please contact us, your local La Mesa, CA vet clinic, for all of your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here for you!