Adopting an Older Dog: Tips on How to Care for Senior Dogs

Senior dog laying in the grass with it's tongue out

Have you recently adopted an older dog? If so, it is truly a gift for both you and your new furry family member. You have granted an additional lease on life to a dog who unfortunately may never have had the chance for comfort, love, and well-being again. If you're embarking on this new adventure, here are senior dog tips:

  • Take early precautionary measures by becoming informed about the conditions common to senior dogs before your pup reaches this stage. Be alert to any symptoms of disease associated with old age and bring them to your vet's attention if or when you notice any signs in your pet promptly. If you are in need of finding a vet, check out our guide here on choosing the right vet.
  • For older dogs, it is advisable to make an appointment with your veterinarian every six months for check-ups. Also, take measures to establish a close working relationship with your pet’s primary care physician, as this should be someone who you feel comfortable with and can trust.
  • Feed your older dog the highest quality of food that you can afford. Consider feeding him or her a home-prepared diet and two small meals daily, rather than one large one. Excess weight can aggravate many canine medical conditions, including heart, respiratory, skin and joint problems, so be sure to monitor food portions. Also, ask your veterinarian for advice about your dog’s individual nutritional requirements.
  • Give your senior dog adequate exercise, but adjust his or her routine to their abilities. A mere 15 minutes of massaging and stretching every day will raise your dog’s sense of well-being. Jogging with your dog may not be appropriate if he or she is arthritic, but swimming and other low-impact activities are great for dogs with joint pain. For another alternative, Camp Bow Wow offers indoor and outdoor play areas, where dogs are encouraged to romp and run for physical exercise, while under the care of certified Camp Counselors.
  • Make your senior dog as much a part of your life as possible. Do all you can to keep him or her interested, active, happy and comfortable. Spend quality time with your dog regularly, or create opportunities to socialize with other dogs, even in their senior stages. Facilities like the ones offered at Camp Bow Wow provides a fun, safe and upscale environment for dogs to play, interact with other pets, and receive lots of love and attention.