Here at East Roswell Vet Hospital, we take delight in offering senior dogs with support and care so that they can age comfortably and gracefully. It is clear to us that caring for a senior dog is a rewarding experience that enriches and enhances not only the dog's lives, but human caretakers as well. We take pleasure in providing guidance and insights on how to take care of elderly dogs.
It is crucial not to forget that the dog experiences a lot of physiological changes during its aging process.
These changes include:
Changes in eyesight
Kidney and cardiac disease
Loss of muscle mass and arthritis
It is not easy to notice some of these changes until your dog becomes old. However, our veterinarians are well trained on how to detect changes in a dog that are hard for dog owners to notice. If these changes are detected early, the progression of diseases can be prevented hence minimizing senior dogs from suffering.
Since these conditions develop progressively, it is not easy for dog owners to notice as they occur. During the crucial senior dog wellness exam, our staff and doctors will ask the owner questions that relate to health issues which are common to senior dogs. As we work together with you, we will come up with a great strategy to ensure that your dog remains medically fit.
It is good to note that the aging process in dogs happens very fast; therefore, we recommend seeing all old dogs not less than two times a year.
During this interaction, we discuss the wellness of your dog as they age. Some of the things we discuss include:
Movement change and exercise
In addition, we look at the following as we carry out a full physical checkup for senior dogs:
Nose and lungs
Eyes and ears
Coat quality and skin condition
Body condition and weight
Gums, mouth, and teeth
Circulatory system and heart
Muscles and joints
The dog's condition from our last visit
The evaluation of Body condition is key in the care program of an aging dog. It's important in checking whether your aging dog is underweight, overweight, or is at the ideal body weight. Extra weight on a senior dog will have a bad effect on the quality of the life that the dog is living. Underweight may be a sign that the dog is ill. We will also train you on how to observe the body of your dog, which may help to assess its health between visits.
Dog nutrition is very important in its entire life; However, making a good food choice for an aging dog is more important. At this stage, the senior dog has a slowed metabolism and physical activities have decreased. Therefore, compared to middle-aged dogs, the senior dog will require 20 percent fewer calories.
Also, some senior dogs are not in a position to assimilate proteins and they need change or additions in certain proteins. Old dogs are likely to gain weight, and this may put them at risk of medical complications, which they avoided during their adolescence.
For instance, it can take longer for the blood glucose levels of obese dogs to go back to normal. This interrupted carbohydrate metabolism is likely to cause diabetes.
This is the reason why one needs to consult from the veterinarian on the best choice of food for the aging dog. Not only is formulated food for senior dogs easy to digest, but it addresses kidney, liver, and urinary issues. It also meets other nutritional needs which are specifically for senior dogs.
Dental disease is common to aged dogs because it develops gradually and can go unnoticed. Older dogs simply get used to dealing with the discomfort. This does not mean that the dogs are not in any pain. Toothaches are as painful to dogs just as they are to humans. The only difference is that dogs can’t express how they feel.
We have a significant objective to identify and treat all pet dental diseases to help them live comfortably even as they grow old. We do consider if your pet is suffering from any other illness for us to come up with the best and safest way to treat your pet.
Although senior dogs can’t be that much involved in physical activities, exercise is still an important component in the care of senior dogs. Daily exercises such as short walks help them age better mentally and physically. However, the most important rule is to give them regular and restrained exercise. Continue with daily short walks until the dog becomes tired or has achieved its right level of fitness.
Exercise can do the following:
Help retain the right body weight
Arouse cognitive capacity
Increase coordination faculties and motor skills
The senior dog's physical condition determines the exercise frequency and duration of your senior dog. However, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian on the most suitable exercise appropriate for your dog.
As young dogs endure vaccinations, senior dogs tolerate it as well. Nonetheless, we consider each dog independently when determining vaccine protocol.
Since each dog has a unique vaccine schedule, you should consult with your veterinarian to be able to select the right vaccines for your dog.
Just as young dogs are likely to be attacked by a parasite, a senior pet is also very vulnerable to these parasites. Unfortunately, they are not able to communicate or show clear indications of being infected by parasites such as ticks and fleas. It is therefore recommended that dog owners have parasite control programs for their aging pets, (both for external and internal parasites). Your veterinarians will help you do this.
As a devoted, enthusiastic, and passionate team of dog’s people, we take pleasure in seeing tails move from side to side, touching cold noses, as well as listening to experiences of people on how our services have improved the lives of aging dogs.
Our dogs' veterinary staff enjoys caring for the elderly canines and pledge to be committed to ensuring that the senior dogs remain healthy. They ensure full wellness of these pets and their happiness too.
We have walked with many dog owners in the past and have seen how our services have helped them be good caretakers of their dogs. Their experiences have been fantastic and their elderly dogs have lived better lives. We are willing to do the same for you.
Reach out to us by making a call or fill in the form on our website to book an appointment for a wellness examination of your senior dog today!