Tag Archives: senior dog care

Arthritis in Dogs

Is your canine buddy approaching his golden years? Fido will be just as cute as a senior as he was as a puppy! Your pet will slow down as he ages, and may develop a very calm, sweet demeanor that you truly enjoy. However, just like people, dogs often develop certain health problems as they grow older. Arthritis is one of the most common ones. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses arthritis in dogs.

At-Risk Breeds

While any dog can develop arthritis, some breeds do have a higher risk of it than others do. For instance, it is particularly common in retrievers and German Shepherds. However, there are also some additional risk factors that can increase the chances that Fido will become arthritic. Obesity is a big one. Infections, traumas, and joint abnormalities can also contribute to arthritis. Ask your vet for more information.

Warning Signs

Arthritis often develops fairly slowly, but there are some ‘telltail’ symptoms to watch for. Limping is often one of the earliest warning signs that a dog is developing arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp right after he gets up, but that limp will become more pronounced over time. Reduced interest in play is another common sign. Your pooch may have trouble getting in and out of cars, or climbing stairs, if he has arthritis. You may also notice your canine friend licking or chewing his paws.

Veterinary Care

If you know or suspect that your dog is developing arthritis, contact your vet immediately. While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many wonderful options for helping soothe pets’ pain. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Keeping Fido Comfortable

In addition to making sure that your canine companion gets proper veterinary care, there are some small but significant things you can do to help your pup get around more easily. We recommend getting a good, orthopedic doggy bed, which will help your pooch sleep more comfortably. Pet ramps or stairs will make it easier for your furry friend to get in and out of the car, or climb onto the sofa. Last but not least, follow your vet’s recommendations for Fido’s diet and exercise regime. Good food and safe, suitable activity will both benefit your pet, and help keep that furry tail wagging.

Do you think your dog is developing arthritis? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

Bone Up on These Senior Dog Care Basics

Your twelve-year-old miniature schnauzer really doesn’t look her age. In fact, Dolly’s good health and shiny coat make her look several years younger. Since you’d like your canine housemate to remain in tip-top shape, you’ve asked your vet Larimer County to give your pooch a thorough physical exam. You’ll also tell the vet if Dolly’s food and water consumption have changed; and if her urination and/or defecation behaviors have gone out of whack. Using that information, your vet will create a tailored senior dog care program. Read more about senior dogs’ special health needs.

Senior Dog Food

Dolly’s top-notch adult dog food has served her well. The nutritionally complete blend has given her quality protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. While she’ll still need these nutrients, her requirements might have changed.

Since Dolly’s not as active, she’ll also need to reduce her calorie intake. Here’s where your vet can help. After reviewing Dolly’s nutritional needs and activity level, he’ll likely recommend a targeted senior dog diet. If Dolly had developed a chronic medical condition, the vet might prescribe a diet that supported her treatment.

Continued Dental Care

To keep Dolly’s choppers healthy and disease free, your vet will closely examine your dog’s teeth during her regular physical checkups. She’ll probably need a dental cleaning, which the vet can perform while your canine charmer’s under anesthesia. Afterward, the vet may ask you to regularly brush Dolly’s teeth. Ask the vet if a special dental diet would also help.

Appropriate Vaccinations

Even though Dolly’s a canine senior citizen, she still needs regular vaccinations that protect her from infectious and dangerous canine diseases. After considering your dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall health, your vet will give Dolly the appropriate shots.

Regular Light Exercise

If Dolly maintains a regular light exercise program, she’ll be better able to head off obesity. Since your furry friend loves her daily walks, confirm that she can continue those happy jaunts. Ask the vet about gentle indoor fetch games, warm-water swims, and other appropriate exercise. If Dolly appears to feel pain when she stands, navigates the steps, or walks normally, tell the vet. He can recommend medications and/or therapies that can help your feisty girl to feel better.

During Dolly’s twice-yearly checkups, your vet Larimer County can fine-tune your little pooch’s health regimen. To start your senior dog on a good health program, contact your vet today.