No matter if you raised them since they were a puppy, or adopted your four-legged best friend later on in their life, senior dogs deserve every bit of love that you can provide for them. As they age, ensuring that their healthy and happy is a must and not to be taken lightly. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few helpful tips to caring for your older dog. For more information or to book an appointment, contact our animal hospital in Tulsa today.
Trips to the vet become even more important for your dog as they age. Their immune system isn’t quite what it used to be and their chances of disease or health issues are much higher than when they were younger. By taking them into our animal hospital, our veterinarians will be able to give them a comprehensive exam to detect any issues. We will then discuss treatment plans to keep them comfortable or adjust their current plan making sure that their medications are up to date.
While we recommend annual exams for younger dogs, when your dog begins getting a little white in the face and is considered a senior, we suggest bumping up your visits to twice a year. That isn’t to say that you can’t come in even more! If you have any concerns, questions, or just seeking peace of mind as it relates to their health, come in as often as you want! Our staff is always ready and happy to help through our comprehensive veterinary services.
Keep an Eye on Them
Make sure to constantly watch your senior dogs and their actions. Certain breeds of dogs are really good at hiding their pain from their owners and if they’re in their older years than this can be a big problem. Watch how they walk, their breathing patterns, look out for any behavioral problems, and watch them eat. Sometimes they may be suffering and you missed the symptoms. In old age, their joints aren’t what they used to be so you wanna keep an eye out for any limping or trouble getting around. Another major issue with older dogs is dental care and digestion issues. Make sure that your furry friend is eating their meals entirely and that they aren’t experiencing any mouth pain or digestion problems.
It’s important throughout their lives, but especially when your dog is a senior, providing them with a nutritional meal plan is a must to keep them active, healthy, and happy. Your pet needs a diet that is specifically tailored for their breed, size, and any health issues they may be undergoing. Don’t worry if you have no idea what kind of food is best for your buddy, Southern Hills Veterinary Hospital can help guide you to an appropriate meal plan that will keep your dog at a healthy weight and getting the nutrients that their body needs.
Although they may not be as rambunctious or speedy as they were in their youth, that doesn’t mean that exercise is no longer necessary. For their physical and mental well-being, make sure that you’re taking your senior pet out frequently. Not only will this help with their weight and their joints, but they’ll be able to get in all the smells that they love and more than anything, they’ll be spending quality time with their favorite thing on the planet — you! Just make sure not to push them. If a walk around the block seems to do the trick, then that’s great! Ensuring that they’re not just stuck indoors in their later years does wonders for their health and happiness.
Oral hygiene becomes even more important the older your dog gets. Gingivitis is a real concern and can lead to bacteria in the bloodstream which is not a good thing for your pet’s organs. We recommend regular at-home brushing, dental treats and toys, as well as bi-annual trips to our animal hospital for teeth cleaning to ensure that their mouth is clean and free from periodontal disease and other issues.
Stay Consistent With Medications
If your dog is taking medications, don’t forget about them or be inconsistent! Our veterinarians prescribed them for a very important reason and to keep your dog healthy as long as possible, you need to stay vigilant with their treatment.
Provide Love and Enjoy Every Second
Your dog is your family member, your companion, your best friend. You are their world and we imagine that they are yours as well. Everything they do is to make you happy, whether it be greeting you when you get home from work or snuggling with you on the couch. In their older years, go above and beyond to let them know that they are loved and that they did their job and are the best boy or girl in the world. Embrace your time with them because, unfortunately, they’re not going to be around forever. But you can rest assured that the staff at our animal hospital in Tulsa will do everything possible to make sure that they live the longest and happiest life possible. Contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment with our veterinarian. Now go give that dog some love!