Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5 Tips on How to Care For Your Senior Pet

Welcome to the CanadaVet blog.  Firstly, we’d like to start off with an apology.  Over the last few months we’ve been so busy here in the CanadaVet offices that we’ve been neglectful of our blogging responsibilities.  But that’s about to change.

Over the next few months we’re going to be blogging about all things pet related; from general veterinarian advice, pet behavioural advice, general interest pieces on the wonderfully mad world of animals and pet-ticular pet recipes, to more specific and serious pet issues, including allergies in cats, common dental problems in dogs and the benefits of wellness checks in pets. 

Are you ready for the all new and exciting CanadaVet blog?  Well then, let’s go!

5 Tips on How To Care For Your Senior Pet

Like people our best furry friends age; unfortunately quicker than we do. They slow down, start to go grey around the muzzle and senses such as sight, hearing and smell begin to deteriorate. Their behaviour may change, sometimes acting grumpy or confused. However with proper care our older geriatric pets can still live a happy, healthy life.

(Bear Bear, the best dog in the world; no longer with us today.)
  1. Veterinary check-ups: As they age more frequent veterinary check-ups are required. A once a year vet visit is the same as a human senior citizen visiting their doctor once every 6 to 7 years! At least a visit every six months is recommended so that any developing problems can be addressed promptly.
  2. Weight control: Older dogs do not burn off the calories they did when younger. Portion sizes need to be adjusted and a good quality seniors diet provides lower but high quality protein, easily digestible carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and fewer calories. Many dogs benefit from two smaller meals a day rather that one big meal.
  3. Exercise: Exercise helps with weight control as well as maintains muscle mass and reduces the signs of degenerative joint disease. Joint supplements especially those that contain glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to significantly improve joint health. Many dogs benefit from these supplements year round rather than just during the summer months.
  4. A good comfortable bed will help keep your old girl comfortable but ensure that it is not too high that it is difficult to climb into.
  5. Maintain good grooming and dental care. Many older dogs don’t shed their under coat and thick clumps of matted hair can build up. Brushing these out and ensuring nails are kept short will improve comfort. Sore gums and rotten teeth cause a great deal of discomfort and can lead to serious diseases such as heart disease. Have your pet’s mouth checked regularly and problems attended to. If your older dog is unable to chew bones you should regularly brush their teeth with a suitable doggy toothpaste.
Dogs are very good at hiding their health problems and as an owner and pet lover it’s our responsibility to keep an eye on our senior pets to ensure they stay happy and healthy even as the years creep up.

See you next week,

The CanadaVet Team






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