With appropriate care most dogs live complete and happy lives. Unfortunately, an adored pet never seems to live long enough. Each breed has different life spans. While taking care of your aging dog you need to adapt his environment for his comfort. As dogs get older, they develop aches, joint pain, generalized weakness and an almost definite increase in medical problems.
Adjust his surroundings to minimize discomfort. Protect him from excessive heat and cold. Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as a younger dog.
Try to give your dog regular exercise. Make sure your dogs health matches his exercise routine. If your dog exhibits signs of heavy panting or opposes exercise you need to change his routine.
Adapt his diet and feeding schedule to his needs. As dogs age they are less active and need fewer calories. Prescription diets are available. Discuss special diets with your veterinarian.
Older dogs can experience hearing loss and declining eyesight. Accommodate for his safety.
Senior dogs require special dental care. They are more likely to develop gum problems and disease. Complete dental cleaning should be performed by your vet every six months which does require anesthesia. Make sure complete bloodwork is performed.
Older dogs need extra bathing and grooming. Dry skin can be a normal part of aging or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. They also require more frequent nail trimming.
Take into consideration his age in human years. If he is 13 in dog years, he may suffer the same aging ailments as a 75 year old human.
Continue with bi-annual vet exams. Senior dogs need extra care with their aging problems.
Give his life quality! Keep those memories alive!
Here are several Wichita veterinarians to consider:
- Central Kansas Veterinary Center
- East Central Veterinary Hospital – Our services and facilities are designed to assist in routine preventive care for young, healthy pets; early detection and treatment of disease as your pet ages; and complete medical and surgical care as necessary during his or her lifetime.
- Chisholm Trail Animal Hospital
- Cimarron Animal Hospital
- Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital – Our hospital is specifically designed and equipped to provide intensive/critical care for your pet when your primary care veterinarian is not available.