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Caring for a Senior Dog

If you are considering bringing a new furkid into your home, you may want to consider an older animal. Senior pets are calmer, less destructive, require less exercise, are often already trained, and are super cute! Many people have found their perfect match in older animals, while others often find that their dogs become even more sweet and loving in their later years. Learn about caring for an older pet in this article from your Indianapolis vet.

The Golden Years

Cats are considered seniors at age seven. There isn’t one set age for dogs to become seniors, as it varies by breed. Large dogs are typically considered seniors between six and eight years old, medium dogs are considered seniors between seven and ten, and toy dogs can get up to 13 before they start aging.

Health Issues

Overall, our canine friends tend to age gracefully. Your pooch may slow down gradually, and become grey around the muzzle. He may move more slowly, and sleep a bit more. Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, are prone to developing hip dysplasia as they grow old. Other dogs may become diabetic, or develop other health conditions. Loss of sight and hearing is very common in older dogs. Overall, most of the health issues dogs develop as they age are not curable, but can be managed with proper care.

Diet

Make sure your canine buddy is getting a proper diet that is optimized for his specific age, weight, and health, and talk to your vet for specific advice on your pup’s nutritional needs, including when it is time to switch to a senior pet food. Some dogs may benefit from vitamins and supplements as they age. Fish oil, for instance, may help keep an arthritic dog’s joints lubricated. Obesity can wreak havoc on an older dog’s health, so keeping Fido at a healthy weight is very important.

Comfort

There are definitely some things you can do to keep your senior dog comfortable. We strongly recommend getting a good orthopedic dog bed, so Fido can sleep comfortably. Doggy ramps and stairs will help your pet get into and out of cars and will make it easier for him to get on your bed. Senior pets are more sensitive to weather extremes, so be sure to keep your pet at comfortable temperatures.

As your faithful friend begins to grow old, he still looks to you for love and care, and he’s still right there by your side. Enjoy your pet’s golden years, and contact us, your local vet clinic Indianapolis, with any questions about caring for your beloved pet.

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