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Senior Dog Care


Vet in the Woodlands for senior dogs

At Creekside Animal Hospital, we love providing senior dogs and their pet parents with the care and support they need to age gracefully and comfortably. 

With advances in veterinary care and dietary habits, our dogs are living longer and happier lives. But now pet parents are faced with new age-related conditions and needs that must be met. We know that there are things that we can do together to give the best possible senior years to your four-legged family member.

For all of our patients we recommend:

  • Annual physical exam
  • Semi-annual physical exam
  • Appropriate vaccinations
  • Annual labwork

Our recommendations for our senior pets are no different what we recommend for all other patients but the focus of our examinations and our considerations about your dog does change.

Vet in the WoodlandsConsiderations for senior dogs:

Increased veterinary care- As our pets get older, they are going to need more veterinary care. Just like us, they go to the doctor more often. A common issue is that people can be more reluctant to bring in their pets because they are older. They bring them in less because it is harder to get them in and out of the car, they do not want to stress their pet out or they are afraid they will get bad news. But it all comes down to one thing, we cannot help your seniors live its healthiest life if we do not see them in our office. This means that semi-annual exams and labwork are more important than ever as your pet gets older.

Mental Health Aging-  Dogs can show signs of senility. Interacting with them and keeping them engaged can help keep them mentally active. If there are any changes in behavior that you notice at home, please let us know. Possible behavior changes:

  • Reactions to noise Vocalization Confusion
  • Less interaction with family
  • Irritability
  • Non-responsive to noise Anxiety
  • Loss of house training Environment

Exercise- Your dog might not need to run, jump, hike and swim anymore but keeping your pet moving is an important factor in your pet's physical and mental health. Adapt the level of exercise to your pets’ level of fitness. Maintain and routine and keep a moderate exercise regime. A short walk every day can help with:

  • Healthy weight
  • Mobility
  • Coordination and balance
  • Mental stimulation
  • Slowing down arthritis progression

Dental Care- Dental disease is common in older patients because it is gradual, and our pets are very good at adapting so it can go unnoticed at home. But this does not mean that it is not painful. Dental disease is very painful for dogs just as it is for humans. Dental disease can affect your pet’s heart, liver, kidneys, and quality of life.

Body Condition and Weight- This is a very important component of senior care. Aging pets have slower metabolisms and exercise less. If your senior is overweight or underweight, it can be a sign of illness. Extra weight will negatively impact your pet’s quality of life. We can show you what to look for at home so that you can monitor your pet's body condition.

Lifestyle and accesibity- Senior pets may require age-related accommodations. They may require changes to avoid physical challenges like a new sleeping area to avoid stairs or non-slip flooring. They may need to spend less time outdoors. If your pet becomes disabled our veterinarians can discuss your pet’s special needs.

Nutrition- When there are changes in your dog's metabolism and body condition we will want to consider changing or adjusting your pets’ diet. Some dogs need fewer calories, some dogs need additional protein and all senior pets have varying needs for vitamins and minerals depending on other health conditions. There is no magic age that this happens, but we do know that typically dogs will gain weight which will increase their risk for health conditions and mobility issues. This is why it is important to consult your veterinarian about the best senior dog food option for your canine companion. Specially formulated senior dog food is easier to digest, might also address liver, kidney or urinary issues, as well as the general nutritional needs specific to senior dogs.

 

Obesity in Dogs is a Health Epidemic

 

Video Transcript for Obesity in Dogs is a Health Epidemic

Our canine veterinary staff loves caring for older dogs and pledges a commitment to the health, wellness, and happiness of your elderly canine companion. We have been here for many aging dogs and their owners over the years, and we will be here for you and yours each and every step of the way.

Schedule an appointment for your senior dog today!

Creekside Animal Hospital is proud to be an active member of our community and to serve as your veterinarian in The Woodlands, Tomball, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas.

 

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