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How Do I Care for My Elderly Dog?

Stories from HART

How Do I Care for My Elderly Dog?

Sarah Myers

Dogs truly are man's best friend. No one wants to see their best friend age, but odds are that you're going to have to care for your pet well into his senior years. Depending on your dog's breed, most dogs will live to around 10 years old. You want to make sure every one of those years is enjoyable and comfortable. 

 Caring for an elderly dog? Here are several tips for providing the best senior dog care.

Enforce a Healthy Diet 

Senior dogs need low-calorie, high-fiber diets to help their aging bodies. Many popular dog food brands offer special lines for senior pets. You should also cut down on treats, such as milk bones. Instead, offer your dog slices of carrots or apples. These alternatives will delight your pet while also providing the nutrients he needs. 

 

Get Social 

In both humans and animals, social interaction is a vital factor in a healthy life. If you're asking "How to make my dog happy?" set aside time for social interaction. 

Take your dog out on regular walks where he can interact with other humans and animals. A dog park or neighborhood playground are great options. Try to set up a walking schedule with another pet owner so your dog gets social interaction and exercise. 

Another great option for well-behaved pets is volunteering. Ask your local library, retirement home, or school if you can bring your dog in to interact with people. Not only will your dog get social interaction, but he will brighten someone else's day. 

 

Receive Regular Care from Dr. Jessy or Dr. Weimer

 When caring for older dogs, you should be visiting us at the Bredel Clinic at least twice a year.  

Healthy, young pets only need a yearly check-up, but aging animals need extra care. By visiting more often, the Doctors are able to diagnose issues earlier and help ensure your dog is comfortable. 

When it comes to an aging pet, never hesitate to visit us. If you notice any odd behaviors, call the Clinic immediately. Dr. Jessy or Dr. Weimer can assess the situation and set up an appointment if needed. 

 

Adjust Your Home for Mobility

At a certain point, you need to adjust your home to cater to your pet's mobility. This means that if your dog regularly goes up and down stairs, make sure everything he needs is on the main level, such as his food and bed. Use a baby gate to block off your stairs so they don't overexert themselves. 

If your dog enjoys laying on your bed or getting up on the couch, that movement may become impossible. Many pet stores sell dog stairs to accommodate aging animals. 

 

Beyond Senior Dog Care

 Now you know a little more about senior dog care and can provide your elderly dog the care they need. 

Remember to enforce a healthy diet and socialize your pet. Regular vet care is especially important for aging animals, and you should increase how often your dog visits the vet.

Don't hesitate to make adjustments to your home to accommodate his mobility levels — a comfortable dog is a happy dog. 

Regardless of your pet's breed or age, regular vet care is paramount. If you're in need of professional vet care, check out our services for more information and schedule your pet's next appointment. 

Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about your best friend!