How do you know when your dog enters the golden years of being a senior? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) most dogs are considered seniors by the time they turn seven. Usually the larger the breed, the shorter the lifespan tends to be. For small dogs, such as Chihuahuas and large/medium dogs like Labradors, by the time they are seven they are seniors. Whereas giant breeds, such as Great Danes, are often considered seniors by the time they reach age five. So how do you keep your senior dogs feeling young and healthy? Below are the top three tips to care for your senior dog.
Diet and Exercise: The AVMA recommends keeping your older dogs active and mobile. This keeps your pets weight down and keeps their muscles strong and engaged. Just think of that old saying, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Many people throughout North County San Diego maybe saying, “I just don’t have the time.” Keeping your pets mobile is a key way to keep them happy and healthy. Too busy for that extra walk or visit to the dog park? Why not try doggie day care? Our own Paw Commons in Encinitas offers daycare for dogs under the age of ten. At doggie day care they can meander about, get loved by staff, and have some fun doggie interactions.
Diet is another important aspect of caring for your senior pet. The ASPCA recommends that when considering a diet for your senior dog it should: help maintain a healthy body weight and/or stave off any chronic diseases. Our own Paw Commons in Encinitas offers The Taste of The Wild in several different flavors. While this is a great brand, we still recommend older dogs with medical conditions be on diets recommended by their veterinarians. Science Diet offers several great options that are usually recommended for pets with kidney disease, urinary diseases, allergies, and thyroid conditions.
- Heat, Water and Potty Breaks: As dogs get older it is important to keep them cool, have constant water access and multiple potty breaks. Adult and senior dogs should not be asked to hold their bladders for more then ten hours. Holding their bladders for extended periods can increase their risk of a urinary tract infection. For dogs suffering from incontinence, and over the age of ten, we recommend hiring a pet sitter. For dogs under the age of ten doggie daycare or day boarding are another great option to ensure your pet gets plenty of water and potty breaks. Our Encinitas location offers air-conditioned rooms, access to fresh water and loving a staff who will doubt upon your furry friend and make sure they get ample potty breaks.
- Increase in Wellness Exams: Once a pet is considered a senior most veterinarians will want them to be seen bi-annually. This helps increase the veterinarians’ chance of catching and/or preventing disease or medical conditions from getting worse. Paw Commons also recommends its’ clients follow this to ensure all guests are healthy. Our location in Encinitas is conveniently located between Carlsbad and Rancho Santa Fe right across the street from The Drake Center for Veterinary Care and All Pets Animal Hospital.Keep your senior pets happy and healthy by following these tips. Whether you hire a pet sitter or try doggie day play, we encourage pet owners to keep pets active and healthy through diet, exercise and increased wellness exams. Even if your pet does not like doggie day care, there is always the day board option. This allows dogs to be in their own room with access to fresh water, extra potty breaks, as well as on-on-one interactions with the staff. For any questions or more tips, please visit our website at: www.pawcommons.com; or call us at: (760) 452-4166.