Ageing is not only a part of a human life, it is also a normal part of our pets’ life; And no doubt by this stage, your pet has become as much a part of the family as any human. As a dog gets older, he tends to become less mobile, his hearing and sight isn’t as good as it used to be and he can become more prone to various diseases. However, with the right care and attention, getting old can still mean that senior dogs can enjoy their golden years healthy and happy. Not all dogs are considered seniors at the same age. Smaller breeds like Terriers are considered senior at around the age of 10-11, while medium sized breeds like Golden Retrievers are considered seniors at the age of 8-10 while giant breeds are considered senior by the age of 5-6.
At Railway Avenue Veterinary Hospital, we are a trusted vet near Kelmscott specialising in providing professional advice and services for all senior dogs. Here’s a few tips to help you take care of your four-legged friend as he grows old.
Keep Your Senior Dog Active
As dogs age it is still important that they continue to get plenty of exercise. Muscle mass is the main driver of metabolism, and if dogs lose muscle mass they can develop frailty syndrome which accelerates the aging process. Noting that while your senior dog won’t be able to as much as they used to do, it’s important to ensure that your dog maintains their ideal weight to have a beneficial impact on their overall health. If you aren’t sure how much exercise your dog needs or for general advice on the best ways to keep them active, it is highly recommended to talk to a vet near Armadale to discuss a recommended exercise program given the health and limitations of your dog.
Arrange Regular Vet Check-Ups
Regular vet care is one of the most important things when it comes to optimising the health of your dog as he gets older. As your dog ages his immune system becomes compromised, which makes him more susceptible to all sorts of ailments. It is highly recommended to take your senior dog in for a check-up every six months. This will give your vet a chance to detect any issues early and provide the best treatment plan. Yearly bloodwork is also highly recommended to check your dogs red and white blood cells as well as their kidney and liver function to make sure that they are operating as they should.
Maintain Oral Health
Many dog owners aren’t aware of how important healthy teeth and gums are to a dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Good oral health should begin as a puppy and be maintained throughout your dog’s life, and it is vital to pay close attention to your dog’s mouth as he becomes a senior. A regular dental routine keeps teeth and gums strong, helps to keep breath fresh, and can even prolong a dog’s life by several years. Poor canine dental health has been proven to contribute to serious heart, lung, liver, kidney and brain ailments. Clean your pet’s teeth frequently with a dog-safe toothpaste and arrange a professional clean yearly with your local vet.
Vaccinations and Parasite Protection
Age isn’t relevant when it comes to protection from fleas, ticks, and worms. Protection from all of these should be administered consistently throughout a dog’s life. When it comes to vaccines on the other hand, older dogs don’t require them at the same intervals as when they’re puppies but it’s still important to keep them up-to-date. For dog vaccinations, Kelmscott locals can consult our team at Railway Ave Vet Hospital, we will happily provide guidance and administer the necessary vaccinations based on the individual needs of your pet.
Senior dogs can get a bit anxious if they don’t have their owner by their side. The best thing that you can do in your dog’s senior years, even though it can be hard to watch them get old, is spend quality time by their side. Cherish all the memories beside your dog who has no doubt been a loyal part of your life and at your side any time you’ve needed them. Treat your dog like your best friend, they deserve your love and attention every single day.
Make an Appointment with the Vet Kelmscott Pet Owners Trust
It is important to consult your vet for health advice as your dog gets older. You want them to be happy, healthy and comfortable so they can enjoy their golden years. At Railway Avenue Veterinary Hospital, we understand your pet is an important member of your family, so we go above and beyond to provide professional care to ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life. Book an appointment online or get in touch with us by calling (08) 9497 1547.