Keeping Your Elderly Dog Healthy

If your dog is getting up there in the age department, her health needs are a bit different than they used to be. Follow these four guidelines from an Indianapolis vet for keeping your senior pooch healthy and happy.

Visit the Vet Regularly

Once your dog is older, it’s more important than ever to have her see a veterinary professional regularly. Most vets recommend that senior dogs get exams at least twice yearly; this way, any health concerns are caught early on and are able to be treated effectively. Call your vet right away if it’s been a while since your pet’s last veterinary office visit.

Appropriate Diet

The nutritional needs of your senior dog are quite different than that of a puppy’s. Some older dogs need help gaining weight, and some need help keeping it off. Certain health conditions can be managed with proper diet as well, so it’s important to have a discussion with your vet to make sure your pooch is eating correctly. Many times, a specially-formulated “senior diet” is paramount in keeping your dog’s nutritional needs in balance. Ask your vet for a recommendation.

Home Modifications

Consider making a few easy modifications to your home to assist your dog in getting around. Pet ramps, doggie stairs, and carpet patches on slippery floors can do wonders to help your older dog’s mobility. They are especially helpful for arthritic pets whose achy joints and bones don’t allow them the freedom of movement they once had.

Comfortable Bed

If your dog has had the same bed for many years, she’ll probably love a plush new one with fresh cushioning. Orthopedic and therapeutic beds can also work wonders for dogs with special needs. Your vet can recommend an appropriate product for your pet.

Grooming Assistance

Now more than ever, your dog could probably use some help in the grooming department. Brush her regularly to keep the essential skin oils in the fur—this will help the coat look glossy and healthy. Keep the nails properly trimmed, and snip long hairs around the eyes and ears.

These are only a few of the many ways to make your elderly dog’s life a little easier—ask your Indianapolis veterinarian for more great tips!

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