November is Adopt A Senior Dog Month! It’s always very sad to see older pooches in shelters. Not only are they often very sad, scared, and confused, they also have a hard time getting adopted, as they can’t compete with puppies and kittens. If you’re bringing one of these lovable older pups into your home, you definitely have our blessing! Read on for some great senior dog care tips from a Fort Myers, FL veterinarian.
Your dog will slow down as he ages, but don’t let him become a complete couch potato. Your furry pal will still need some activity to stay healthy. For most pups, a daily walk or two will suffice. If Fido enjoys the water, he may also like swimming. Just take care not to overexert your canine buddy. It’s also important to stick with safe, suitable activities. (Note: Dogs in their golden years should not be encouraged to jump or stand on their hind legs, as it’s too hard on their bones.)
Just like people, pets often need to visit their doctors more often as they grow older. Regular blood tests and screenings become crucial at this stage, as they can reveal medical issues that are just starting to develop.
At home, keep an eye out for signs of illness. Some things to look for include lack of appetite, limping, lethargy, increased thirst, changes in waste, vomiting, diarrhea, skin issues, lesions, respiratory distress, and clouded, watery, or sunken eyes. Call your vet right away if you notice anything that seems off.
Keeping Fido comfortable is more important than entertaining him at this stage. Things like thick beds, good grooming, pet ramps or slings, and elevated dishes can all make a huge difference. Ask your vet for more information.
Fido’s breed may really come into play as he ages, as certain breeds are more predisposed to specific health conditions. If you aren’t sure what type of pooch Fido is, consider doing a doggy DNA test.
Older dogs can actually make the best pets. They’re just very sweet and lovable, and only want someone to love them and give them belly rubs. Savor the time you have with your canine companion!
Do you have questions about caring for a senior pet? Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL clinic, today!