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Caring for a Senior Dog

Your Lexington dog has been a loyal and loving companion for many years. Our four-legged buddies become so much a part of our lives that it can take us by surprise to realize one day that they are beginning to slow down. Pets age faster than we do, of course, and their needs will change as they enter their golden years. Dogs generally reach their senior years between 7 and 10 years old, though this varies by breed. Large dogs become seniors earlier than medium sized dogs, and medium size dogs reach their senior years sooner than small dogs.

Bedding

Pets can become prone to aches, pains, and stiff joints as they age, just as humans do. Make sure your pooch has a good bed of his own; the thicker, the better. If Fido sleeps in your bed with you, get doggy stairs or a ramp to make the climb easier for him.

Dietary Needs

Your pup’s nutritional requirements will change as he grows older. Keep in contact with your vet, and let them guide you when it is time to change to a senior formula pet food. A slight decrease in appetite is not unusual, but if you notice any drastic changes, notify your vet immediately. If your furry pal has arthritis or hip dysplasia, check with your vet about supplements which may help soothe him. Fish oil, for instance, may help keep his joints lubricated.

Exercise

Senior dogs don’t need as much exercise as they once did, and they are much less likely to get excited at the sight of a cat or another dog, but they still need some exercise. Keep an eye on your canine buddy, and stop when he starts looking tired.

Play

An aging dog may not be as interested in playing Frisbee or ‘Fetch’ as he once was, but older pooches still enjoy and benefit from the stimulation of play. If your furry friend seems disinterested in the toy you’re waving, food games or puzzle toys may perk up his interest. Softer toys may be easier on an aging dog’s teeth, and balls that make noise may be more fun for Fido if his eyesight is fading. Some companies are now making toys specifically for older dogs, so check with to see if local pet store has any.

Your dog may be getting older, but we know he’s just as cute as ever, and he will always be a puppy at heart. Enjoy your furry pal’s senior years, and the quiet quality time you can have with him.

Please visit our site frequently for articles and tips from your Lexington vet on caring for your dog.

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