Have you noticed some signs of aging in your canine companion? It may seem like just a short time has passed since Fido was a puppy, so it can be a bit of a shock to notice that his muzzle is turning gray or that he isn’t as energetic as he once was. It may be sad to realize that your pet’s clock is winding down, but there is a bright side. Senior dogs are not only super cute, they also tend to be very calm, sweet, and lovable. Of course, you’ll want to focus on keeping Fido comfortable, instead of keeping him out of trouble. A Hiawassee, Georgia vet offers some information on that below.
We recommend that all of our furry friends have comfortable beds. However, this is crucial for older dogs. Fido won’t sleep very well on a thin pad! Make sure your pet has a high-quality orthopedic bed. Or two. Or three.
Overgrown nails are a bigger problem than many people realize. They’re not just mildly uncomfortable for Fido: they change the angle of his toes against the ground, and can interfere with his gait, stance, and ability to get good traction. Senior dogs also don’t wear their nails down by running around as younger dogs do.
Fido will never outgrow his love of treats, but don’t overindulge him. Older dogs are prone to packing on extra weight, as they aren’t as active as younger pooches. There’s nothing wrong with giving your pup snacks, of course. Just don’t go too crazy here. Those extra pounds are bad for your dog’s health!
Senior dogs are very susceptible to weather extremes. Fido will get hot easier in summer, and will get cold quickly in chilly weather. He may also have trouble moving from warm to cold areas. Keeping up with your pet’s grooming needs can help a lot here. Dead fur and dander interfere with the insulating qualities of your dog’s fur, so even regularly brushing your pooch can help. Pups with thin coats will benefit from jackets or sweaters.
Many older dogs have trouble climbing stairs or getting in and out of cars. Pet ramps or stairs can help keep Fido mobile. Small touches, such as setting out carpet runners for traction or keeping night lights on after dark, can also help quite a bit.
Do you have questions about senior pet care? Please contact us, your Hiawassee, Georgia animal clinic, anytime!