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Did you know that dogs can become seniors at just six years old? Large dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than their smaller counterparts, and can reach their golden years quite fast. Smaller dogs age the slowest, with some not becoming seniors until age ten or older. While aging timelines may vary from pup to pup, older dogs do all have similar needs. A local Cornelius, NC vet lists some ways to keep your canine pal happy and healthy in this article.
Older dogs aren’t as playful as puppies, but they do need some activity. Instead of vigorous games of Fetch at the park, Fido may tap out after a few rounds. That’s fine! Start to incorporate games that offer mental stimulation, rather than just physical exercise. Be careful not to overexert your canine buddy, and don’t encourage too much standing or jumping.
Good grooming can go a long way towards keeping your pup comfortable. Fido will be more sensitive to heat and cold than a younger dog would. When it comes to bathing, you’ll need to be careful of slip-and-fall injuries. If you bathe your furry pal in the tub, put mats down. You may want to consider going to a groomer with a station that’s easy to get in and out of. Don’t forget about your pup’s nails. Your cute pooch may need more frequent pawidures. Dental care is important as well. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Your four-legged friend will need to come in a bit more often as he ages. Your vet will be able to recommend an appointment schedule. Make the most of this time, and get some specific advice on Fido’s changing diet and care needs.
There are also a few things you can do to make your home more comfortable for an older dog. Pet ramps and stairs can help Fido get in and out of cars and—if he’s allowed—on and off beds and couches. Comfy beds are also a must.
Last but not least, pay lots of attention to your dog. Fido may get confused and uneasy about the changes he is experiencing, and may need reassuring. Make sure your canine friend feels loved and safe! Many people find that their four-legged friends somehow become even sweeter and more adorable over time.
Do you have questions about caring for an older dog? Contact us, your Cornelius, NC animal clinic, today!