Is your pooch in his golden years? Fido usually ages gracefully, and he’ll somehow get even more lovable as he grows older. However, as your pup enters his senior years, you’ll need to make some adjustments to his care regimen. Read on as a local Fort Bragg, NC vet offers some advice on walking a senior dog.
Fido simply won’t have the stamina that a younger dog would. He’ll tire out more quickly, and may not be able to navigate hills and obstacles the way he used to. He’ll still need regular exercise, but you’ll need to take care not to overdo it. Take your pup in as soon as he starts to get tired. Many dogs do best with shorter, but more frequent walks. This may also be the best route to take if your furry pal becomes incontinent. That said, every pooch is different. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Slips and falls can be just as dangerous for dogs as they are for people. Making sure that Fido has good traction will go a long way here. Keep your canine pal’s nails clipped! We also recommend using a paw balm or wax on Fido’s paw pads, so they don’t get cracked or chapped. (The AKC has a homemade recipe online here.)
Keep an eye on the terrain as well. In summer, stay away from hot surfaces, such as tar and asphalt. In winter, you’ll want to avoid snow, salt, ice, and sand.
Pups in their senior years tend to be more susceptible to temperature extremes than young dogs. Those with thick coats will get hot very quickly in summer, while those with thin fur may shiver on chilly days. Keep Fido well-groomed, and dress him with cute doggy jackets or cooling vests when needed.
As Fido ages, he may experience a decline in his vision and/or hearing. He may also become forgetful. This means that he won’t be as responsive to stimuli. The good news is that your canine buddy will probably be less inclined to bolting off after squirrels. The bad news? He may not notice potential threats, like a car approaching. Keep your furry bff on a leash, and stay aware of your surroundings.
Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fort Bragg, NC animal clinic, today!