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November is Adopt A Senior Pet month! Older dogs have a special way of melting hearts, and we are always thrilled to see them getting good forever homes. In fact, they really make great pets! They’re typically very calm and affectionate, and are much more interested in belly rubs than in chewing up your shoes. Here, an Oconomowoc, WI vet offers some advice on adopting a pooch in his senior years.
Keep your furry pal’s age in mind when you go shopping. A comfy bed is a must. Older dogs often get very stiff and sore, and have a hard time sleeping on floors or thin beds. We recommend orthopedic beds for senior dogs. Fido may also need pet ramps or stairs to help him climb stairs and get on and off beds and couches. Elevated dishes are also helpful, as they are easier for pups to eat from than bowls on the floor.
When you bring your furry friend home, set him up in a quiet back room with food, toys, and comfy bedding. If possible, put him in a spare room. You can put a baby gate at the door if you like. That way, Fido will feel safe, but can still interact with you.
Your pet may sleep a lot at first. Being in a shelter is very scary and stressful for our canine companions. Older dogs are also often confused and depressed about being separated from their former owners. Just give him time to adjust.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is to take Fido to the doctor. Although a senior dog will probably already have been fixed, you’ll need to make sure your pooch is microchipped and current on his vaccines and parasite control. A dental exam is also on the agenda. While you’re there, get some specific advice on your canine friend’s diet and care needs.
Fido may have some quirks you don’t know about yet. He may be terrified of storms, or allergic to something. Just enjoy getting to know your pooch. Don’t be discouraged if you find that your dog isn’t perfect. Just work on improving his petiquette. Senior dog tail wags are truly precious!
Please contact us, your Oconomowoc, WI vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!