If you have a dog that is seven years old or more – congratulations, you are the proud owner of a senior dog. While it might not seem that your furry friend should be considered a “senior citizen” at the young age of seven, it is important to remember that dogs age much faster than people do. Changes need to be made in the diet, exercise and lifestyle of your dog once he reaches this important age. Your dog is still the same companion and family member that he has always been, but now he needs a little more from you with regard to care. New Bedford pet owners can improve their ability to care for a senior dog just by following a few basic year-long and seasonal pet tips that will help their four-legged friend to be his very best.
Tip #1 – Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
One of the best ways to care for your senior dog is to establish a solid relationship with your local Dartmouth emergency vet. Depending on the health and lifestyle of your dog, you may need to increase your visits from once a year to every six months. Make sure to choose a veterinarian that can provide all of the services and support that you and your dog will need during this very important stage of his life.
Tip #2 – Take Time to Learn About Senior Dogs
The more you know about what your dog needs, the better you will be equipped to provide it for him. Learn about the various conditions and ailments that are common to senior dogs and take time to study the different types of therapies that are used to treat them. If you are alert to symptoms you can bring your dog in for a check-up at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth and discuss treatment options. One of the reasons why our Dartmouth emergency vet is so popular among New Bedford pet owners is that we offer a wide range of services, including alternative approaches to pain management for senior dogs.
Tip #3 – Nutrition is Important
Speak with your local vet about changes in nutritional needs for your senior dog. High quality food that is designed to meet the unique needs of a senior dog can be extremely beneficial and improve your pet’s quality of life. Two smaller meals a day are better than one larger meal, but ask your vet about food selections and feeding schedules based on your dog’s unique needs, as well as any recommended supplements or vitamins.
Tip #4 – Encourage an Active Lifestyle
When your dog was a puppy, chances are he spent his days running all over the house and around the yard, but as he has gotten older, his activity level has decreased. It is important to encourage an active lifestyle for your dog, but make sure to speak with your vet at the animal hospital in Dartmouth to ensure that the activities you intend on doing are safe for your dog. Ask about seasonal pet tips for exercise throughout the year and other tips that New Bedford pet owners can use to increase activity in senior pets.
Tip #5 – Visit the Doggie Dentist
Good dental hygiene is important to the health and longevity of people, as well as their dogs. Bring your senior dog to Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth for a check-up and ask about regular cleanings and at-home cleanings to ensure your dog’s oral health. Your veterinarian might have other tips that you can use to help improve your senior dog’s dental hygiene and can even recommend dietary changes that can support this effort.
Tip #6 – Preventive Measures
There are also some things that you can do to prevent illnesses and conditions that are common to senior dogs. Vaccines are still suggested at this age, especially if your dog frequents dog parks, is in boarding or has immediate contact with other dogs. Flea and tick preventive medications should also be used, as advised by your veterinarian, to help stop parasitic infestations before they happen.
Tip #7 – Provide Love and Attention
As senior dogs get older, they sometimes crave more attention and time with family members than they did before. Make a strong effort to spend more time hanging out with your four-legged friend, even if it’s just watching television or going for a walk around the block. Some dogs continue to play with toys and enjoy an active lifestyle well beyond seven or even ten years of age, just make sure you continue interacting with him as time passes.
Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
New Bedford pet owners should bring their dogs, cats, small and exotic pets to Anchor Animal Hospital for regular check-ups, vaccinations, Dartmouth emergency vet services, routine care, surgery and pain management, canine and feline dentistry, plus a whole lot more. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 or stop by our location on State Road in Dartmouth.