Guidelines for Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy

Your cocker spaniel Toffee really enjoyed her twelfth birthday party. While Toffee wasn’t too keen on her little birthday hat, she quickly snarfed down her special birthday cookies. Afterward, Toffee and her canine buddies worked off some calories by playing in your fenced backyard. You want Toffee to remain energetic and healthy in her senior years, so you’ve asked your veterinarian from Marietta to give your pooch a complete physical exam. Tell your vet if you’ve seen changes in Toffee’s food and water consumption; and if she’s altered her urination and defecation behaviors. Learn more about keeping your senior dog healthy.

Special Senior Dog Diet

Toffee has always enjoyed her nutritionally complete adult dog diet. Toffee’s food has provided her with plenty of top-notch protein, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. While Toffee still requires these nutrients, her requirements might be different.

Also, since Toffee has slowed down, she must decrease her calorie consumption. Finally, if Toffee has a chronic medical condition, your vet can prescribe a targeted diet that works along with her treatment. Your vet can get Toffee’s diet on track during a nutritional counseling appointment.

Regular Dental Care

Healthy teeth and gums allow Toffee to enjoy her food and maintain a good quality of life. You certainly don’t want Toffee to develop painful dental disease, as that can cause her pain and potentially lead to internal organ infections.

To keep Toffee’s mouth healthy, your vet will examine your dog’s teeth during her regular physical checkup. He’ll probably recommend a thorough cleaning, which he’ll perform while Toffee’s under general anesthesia. The vet will scrub off nasty plaque, tartar, and bacteria. While he cleans Toffee’s choppers, a technician will monitor your dog’s vital signs. Once Toffee’s teeth are sparkling clean, the vet will recommend a good dental diet and consistent brushing. Ask about a dental chew toy that might also help to scrub Toffee’s teeth.

Vaccinations Are Vital

While Toffee’s now a senior girl, she still needs protection against dangerous and infectious canine diseases. Your vet will administer vaccinations that are appropriate for Toffee’s age, health situation, and lifestyle.

Gentle Light Exercise

Toffee still wants to remain active, and regular exercise helps her to avoid obesity. Ask your vet if Toffee can continue her daily walks, play a gentle round of indoor fetch, and even swim in a pool. Alert your vet if Toffee appears to experience pain when she stands up, walks normally, or navigates the steps. Your vet can prescribe medications and/or therapies that can help Toffee to feel better.

Make sure Toffee visits her Marietta vet for twice-yearly checkups. During these appointments, your vet will tweak Toffee’s health program and treat developing medical issues.