Caring for your senior dog in West Des Moines, IA is a little different than caring for a younger dog, but no less important. Dogs, just like humans, have different care requirements as they age. Even if your dog is still a spring chicken—or at least acting as though they are—it’s smart to think about their senior care plan as they get older. The years will pass by faster than you think.
As a general rule, larger dogs reach “senior” status a lot earlier than smaller dogs, so it’s important to talk to your veterinarian regularly about your pet’s status and what you can expect as they get older. Here are some tips to help you develop a care plan:
- Regular vet visits: The best thing you can do for your aging dog is keep up with their regular vet visits. Your veterinarian will work with you to develop a care plan for your dog. Make sure to ask for a body condition evaluation each time you visit so you have a good idea of your dog’s health and what might be an area of concern sometime in the future.
- Keep your dogs at a healthy weight: Your dog might look cute with a little chub, but it’s not good for their health. Overweight dogs have a higher risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more. It’s important that you pick a diet that will give your dog all the nutrition they need, but won’t overload them on calories. Again, your vet can help here.
- Use specially-formulated food: You may want to invest in some specially-formulated food for your aging dog, which will help you keep them at a healthy weight while still delivering all the most important nutrients they need.
- Exercise and play regularly: Just because your dog is getting older doesn’t mean they should get (too) lazy. Make sure to exercise your dog regularly, and provide them with plenty of mentally and physically stimulating toys. (Some extra attention never hurts, either.)
- Pay special attention to oral health: Keeping your dog’s mouth healthy will prevent additional issues that could further damage your aging dog’s health in West Des Moines, IA. Brush their teeth regularly, and consider dental treats—ask your vet for recommendations.
- Consider special accommodations: Finally, your dog will probably need some special accommodations as they get older. For example, ramps and steps will help them get to their regular sleeping areas when they can’t jump anymore, and extra-soft bedding helps dogs with arthritis.
When you’re developing your care plan, make sure that you research your dog breed for more information about common health problems and what to watch out for. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice signs of health issues, including behavior issues—our pets can suffer from dementia and other age-related diseases just like humans can.
Canine Country Club is here to help with senior dog care in West Des Moines, IA. For more information about our boarding and grooming services, give us a call today.