Caring for Your Aging Dog
It is not uncommon for One of A KindPet Rescue to have senior dogs in our care. Typically, the owner has passed or gone into assisted living, and can no longer care for their pet. It is important that we care for the specific needs of our geriatric rescues properly.
Just as humans develop various health problems as we age, our dog companions often do the same. Kidney, liver, urinary and pancreatic functions weaken with age—as well as various other ailments such as dental decay and arthritis. Dental decay is something that should only be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. Arthritis is very common for pups to develop in their golden years and can be diagnosed and easily treated by a vet and managed at home.
It is important to establish a baseline for blood work when your dog is young and healthy so abnormalities can be quickly determined as they get older. Our vets don’t often have the luxury of baseline blood work with our rescued senior dogs, but it is extremely beneficial when it is available. Blood work may quickly determine if a dog is uncomfortable. Since most dogs are considered senior at 7-8 years old, it is best to establish this baseline by the age of five.
Signs of Discomfort
Unlike people, dogs are not able to express where their pain is located, how badly or how often. Dogs instead communicate discomfort by panting, showing signs of restlessness, lack of appetite or shaking. They may also become irritable. When it comes to arthritis, some signs to watch for are slow, stiff movements when rising and extended periods of time lying down. They may also be hesitant to use stairs and may be reluctant to hop on and off of furniture.
It is important to keep the dog moving with short, frequent walks at their pace. There are numerous treatment options available such as medication, acupuncture, holistic remedies, and dietary supplements. Traveling dog massage is also becoming popular. Consult with your vet about which pain management options are best for your pet’s situation.
Of course, we have only begun to scratch the surface with what your aging dog may develop. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with your dog’s daily routines and behaviors for early detection of any issues. Your dog’s lifelong happiness and health begins and ends with you.
Two Convenient Locations
Rescue & Adoption Center
1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
Spay & Neuter Clinic
1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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