Did you know that our canine friends don’t all age at the same rate? Small dogs may not become seniors until they are 11, while a large pup may be in his golden years by age six. Medium-sized dogs usually fall somewhere in the middle. No matter what size your pooch is, he’ll need some extra attention as he ages. Read on as a local Bellaire, TX vet offers some advice on caring for Fido as he grows older.
Adjust Activity Levels
Keeping your canine pal active is very important! Most dogs need at least a daily walk. As Fido grows older, he’ll start to lose stamina, and will tire out more quickly than he once did. Keep a close eye on him, and take care not to overexert him.
Offer Small Comforts
Sometimes it really is the little things! Make sure that your four-legged pal has a good orthopedic bed to snuggle up in when it’s cold. Fido may also appreciate a pet fountain, or perhaps some pet ramps to help him get in and out of the car.
Revisit Fido’s Diet
Senior dogs have different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts. They aren’t as active, so they don’t need as many calories. However, they often benefit from senior-specific treats and kibble. Fido may also benefit from certain supplements, such as glucosamine or fish oil. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Older pups are much more sensitive to weather extremes than young dogs are. Make sure your furry pal is warm in winter and cool in summer. Be extra careful when it’s hot out!
Keep a close eye out for signs of potential illness. Some of the things to watch for include limping, reduced appetite, reluctance to play, withdrawal, weight gain or loss, respiratory issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in Fido’s behavior or vocalizations. Contact your vet right away if you notice anything off.
Love And Tail Wags
Senior dogs are truly a joy to be around. Our canine companions tend to get very sweet and affectionate over time, and really just want to hang out with their humans, collecting ear scritches and belly rubs. Pay lots of attention to Fido, and just make sure he feels loved and safe.
Do you have questions about caring for a senior dog? Contact us, your local Bellaire, TX animal clinic, anytime. We are here to help!