The Golden Years - Senior Canine Month
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Our dogs are such a big part of our lives. Our senior dogs have been with us through it all, from babies to graduations from marriage to goodbyes. They are our support system and our confidants. Sometimes when they get older they aren’t the best at telling us it hurts or they don’t feel well. They just truck along with our busy lives taking care of the kids and watching tv with us. It’s important to take care of them in their golden years and help them age gracefully.
Senior pets have much different needs then puppies or adult dogs. They are aging much faster and what we brush off as 6 month or a year to them they are aging years and years. Small breeds tend to live longer but that doesn’t mean they aren’t having the same issues as big dogs. Maybe your little fluff ball can’t jump up the stairs like they used to, or maybe they are having trouble walking down the dark hall to get to their bed at night. Big dogs tend to show us their stiff joints by having issues standing up from their sleep or not jumping into the back seat like they used to go for a car ride. All these symptoms can progress more rapidly at their senior ages. Things like cancer can look like just a dog slowing down or a dog just missing a few meals here and there. But small changes in their daily lives can tell us if major things are going on and then we can form a plan to what we need to address or support.
That’s why we recommend our senior pets over the age of 7yrs get 6-month wellness exams and yearly bloodwork. That way we can monitor any organ abnormalities or changes in behavior, or any other issues you may see at home. It's important to monitor ongoing issues or resolve new issues that come up in between our exams. Our blood panels are run in house so we can have same day results for your pet, and we can graph results over time to see if anything is changing. We can also discuss supplements for joint health, cognitive behavior and even to help manage certain old age disease processes. We have products like glucosamines to help keep their joints lubricated, helps keep cartilage healthy and from breaking down faster. We also have other therapies like laser therapy and acupuncture that can help our pets stay comfortable. Laser therapy is great for sore joints, after major surgeries and even as maintenance therapy for certain injuries. Acupuncture can target several issues, it can be used with laser and is less invasive for the pet, most enjoy it! Our old dog Chinook loved coming to the clinic for his monthly treatments! He didn’t love the car anymore or travel but would get excited to come and fall asleep during his laser appointments. He knew it made him feel better and he knew it was going to help so why not enjoy the time away from his annoying little brother to get his treatments and obviously get some cookies!
Our dogs also have trouble as they age with brain health and cognitive function. We now have the technology to develop diets specifically for those issues so it’s easy to help them by just feeding the diet to them every day. Just like when we get older things can get confusing, things we once knew we now can’t remember, or we don’t recognize
things that we used to love. It can be tough for our senior pets because they can’t tell us they don’t
remember the trick we taught them or how to ask to go out to the bathroom or maybe they are sore and petting them is hurting. Having a diet and supplements to boost their cognitive function is so important for them aging well and dealing with age in a better way. Having those bi-annual visits with your vet team can help manage and get your senior pets back on track to age well and feel-good aging. We want the best for our senior pets in their golden years because they have given us their best for our lives!