Happy New Year! Is your canine companion a furry, four-legged senior? If so, you may want to keep that in mind this year. Dogs’ needs change a bit over time, just as ours do. This is a perfect time to revisit your pup’s care needs! Read on as a Fayetteville, NC vet offers some great senior dog care tips.

Keep Fido Active

Proper exercise is absolutely crucial for our canine buddies. If Fido isn’t getting enough activity, his muscles may atrophy, and his joints may stiffen up. Most pups will need at least two short walks each day, but ask your vet for recommendations.

Provide Enrichment

You may have heard that mental stimulation is absolutely crucial for seniors. This is important for pets as well! Fido probably won’t be very interested in reading or crossword puzzles, but you can give him puzzle toys, or teach him some new tricks.

Revisit Diet

Fido’s dietary needs will be very different now than they were when he was a puppy. Ask your vet if there is anything that should be adjusted, and if he would benefit from supplements. When it’s time to move your pooch onto senior-formula food, you’ll want to do so slowly, over the course of several days. You may also need to choose low calorie foods and treats.

Offer A Helping Hand

As Fido ages, he may have trouble jumping onto your bed or sofa (assuming he’s allowed) or getting in and out of the car. Small touches like pet ramps and orthopedic beds can help with this. Small and medium dogs may also benefit from harnesses.

Revisit Fido’s Beauty Regime

Fido probably won’t be any more fond of baths now than he was as a puppy. However, grooming is just as necessary now, if not more so. It can be uncomfortable for senior dogs to be picked up, handled, and put into tubs. You may find it best to go to a groomer.

Consider Alternative Therapy

Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and laser therapy, can be very helpful for treating many of the ailments that are common in senior dogs, such as arthritis. These tend to be very gentle treatments, which offer wonderful benefits and little or no risk of side effects. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about your canine pal? Contact us, your local Fayetteville, NC animal clinic, today!