When you decide to adopt a dog that is considered a senior rather than a puppy or a young adult dog, there is a great deal to consider. While much of the work of transitioning a dog into your home environment is the same with a senior dog, there are also quite a few differences in caring for a senior dog as opposed to one of a different age. Get to know some of the care that you can and should provide to your new senior dog so that you can be sure that you are giving them the best life possible in their new home.
Schedule Them For Regular Dog Dental Cleanings And Checkups
As dogs age, they often experience issues with their teeth. Plaque builds up more easily and they may also have more of a tendency to get food stuck in between their "lips" and their teeth. This food can cause dental rot, gum disease, and general discomfort for your senior dog.
Soon after you adopt your senior dog, you will want to take them to the veterinarian to have their teeth checked. If there are signs of plaque buildup or rot, you should also schedule a full dog dental cleaning. These cleanings require your dog to go under general anesthesia to be performed. Because your dog is a senior, you will also want to have your vet run a series of tests on their overall health and condition that will ensure they are healthy enough to be put under anesthesia before the dental cleaning.
Have Your Dog Groomed At Least Once A Month
Senior dogs will need to be groomed and brushed often to avoid various issues. If you are able to bathe your dog as well as brush them and keep their fur and nails neat and trimmed, then you should strive to do so regularly. However, if not, you should try to have them groomed monthly by a professional dog groomer.
Older dogs can have issues with urination and defecation that could lead them to having excrement stuck in their fur that they cannot get out themselves through grooming.They are also prone to getting mats in their fur (large clumps of tangled fur). All of this can be remedied and dealt with through regular grooming and brushing.
Long nails can also be a major problem for older dogs. Because senior dogs have weakened muscles and reduced coordination, long nails are more likely to cause slips and falls than for younger dogs. Dog groomers also cut your dog's nails to prevent such issues.
Now that you know a few of the steps that you should take to properly care for your newly adopted senior dog, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep them happy and comfortable during their senior years.