How to Care for a Senior Dog
Is your dog starting to slow down? Is your pet’s muzzle going grey? Fido’s golden years are a very special time in his life. Dogs somehow manage to just keep getting cuter and cuter as they age. Older dogs are typically super sweet and affectionate, and are more interested in napping and collecting belly rubs than chasing squirrels. However, your canine buddy will still need some activity to stay healthy. Here, a Coral Springs, FL vet offers some tips on keeping your pooch active in his golden years.
Daily walks are typically the number one workout for senior dogs. Just let Fido pick the pace, and take him in when he starts getting tired. You may find that taking a relaxing stroll with your furry best friend is a great way to wind down after a long day!
Swimming is another good option. The water will support Fido’s weight, which takes the strain off his bones and joints. Of course, there are some caveats here. If your dog can’t swim and/or is afraid of water, then obviously this isn’t going to be a good option for him. Also, never leave your pet unattended near water. If you have a pool, use a gate or fence to block it off when it isn’t in use. Older dogs can be clumsy, and they also sometimes develop vision issues. These things put them at higher risk of falling in.
Fido won’t be as playful as he used to be, but he’ll still have moments of friskiness. Play with him regularly. Even a few minutes of playtime will be beneficial. Senior dogs often prefer softer toys, or ones that light up or make noise, which are easier for them to track. Just don’t encourage your pup to jump or stand on his back legs. This can really strain his hips and back!
Older dogs tire out much more quickly than younger pooches. They’re also much more sensitive to heat. In summer, schedule doggy playtime for the mornings or evenings, or after it rains, when it’s cooler out. Be careful not to overexert Fido. Dogs often push themselves in order to please their humans. If you notice Fido panting or slowing down, call it a day.
Please contact us, your Coral Springs, FL vet clinic, for your senior dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!