How To Determine the Health Care Needs of Senior Dogs

Most of the pet owners aren’t vigilant about the average life span of a dog. They think of ‘dog age’ as 1 dog year equals to 7 years of human life. But, this isn’t right. The average life span of a dog entirely depends on its breed, genetics, and overall care. The life span of domestic dogs is about 12 or 13 years. While, some dogs can even live to 20 years. Giant breeds live for 7 or 8 years of age and medium-sized for around 10 years. How long your dog’s going to survive depends on its breed, health condition and nutritions provided to him/her.

Identify Signs Of Aging in Pets

There are potential signs showing that your dog is getting old.

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Aimless wandering

The most recent medical condition recognized in aged dogs is a Cognitive dysfunction syndrome.. The dogs suffering from this syndrome have a decline in thinking, recognition and memory. They tend to be less active, less curious and less enthusiastic than younger dogs. They sleep more and show less interest in their usual daily routines.

Effects of Aging on Dogs

Age has the same effects in dogs as it has in people. Aged dogs tend to lose strength and flexibility, have a weak immune system, more susceptible to temperature and infectious diseases. Over the time, the vital organs of their body stop working efficiently. They may lose control of their bowels and have impaired vision and hearing.

Well-cared dogs have comparatively fewer health problems. Aging is a complex and irreversible process. Thus, it is the responsibility of the pet owners to help their dogs in surviving this phase with ease. Aging dogs need a comfortable environment, balanced diet and periodic veterinary health checks.

Dietary Needs of Aging Dogs

Obesity is one the most common health problems found in older dogs. The metabolism system of old dogs slows down and they become less active and avoid indulging in any physical activity. Thus, they tend to gain weight. Pet owners need to recognize that their dogs are becoming fat and they require good diet and regular exercise. Proper weight management is vitally important for an aged dog.

Overweight dogs are more susceptible to infectious diseases and comparatively have less life span. You need to trim-down your overweight dog be providing low-calorie veggies such as carrot. There are pet food products specially formulated for geriatric dogs. Consult our vets at the Bolton animal hospital about to know more about the dietary needs of of aging dogs.

We, at North Point Vet, provide advanced pet medical care services to the pets of every age and breed. Our animal hospital in Bolton is fully-equipped hospital providing leading veterinary solutions.

Potential Factors Affecting Mood of Your Dogs

Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining the physical and mental condition of your pets. The vets of our Bolton animal hospital advises pet owners to keep-an-eye on what their pet is eating and what kind of food makes it happy, gloomy, aggressive or active. Studies have proven that food products affect the behavior and mood of your lovable dog. Pet owners need to be meticulous about a few factors that have a direct impact of their pet’s behavior.

Feeding Time
Gone are the days when people use to follow a standard feeding regimen, where pets were given food once a day or leave the food in the bowls for the pet. This standard regimen known as free-feeding, is still followed by pet owners. Just think about how you would feel if were fed only once a day, or kept nibbling on a food having lots of calories all day long.

Our vets strongly recommend the pet owners to ask their vets about feeding the adult dogs twice or thrice in a day. It is crucial to keep your dog healthy and cheerful. It is ideal to combine some physical activities with slight feeding routine adjustments. This will help in weight management and improving the overall demeanor of a dog.

Pet Food Ingredients
Pet food ingredients affect your pet’s behavior in a way or another. A food product that you get home for your dogs is comprised of various nutrients, proteins, fats, vitamins and more. There is one fatty acid called DHA, most commonly found in puppy and kitten food. DHA is meant to enhance the mental acuity in puppies and kittens. Studies have proven that dogs having DHA enriched food remain more organized and trainable. There are some antioxidants that act as a great “brain food” for mature dogs and cats.

An antioxidant-enriched diet makes your mature dogs agile and they are able learn complex tasks easily. They are able to recognize their family members and the age-related behavioral changes are also less.

Unbalanced Diet
Health issues are the outcome of an unbalanced diet. A poorly balanced diet can lead to numerous drastic behavioral issues that are generally not found in dogs. For example, if due to an unbalanced diet your dog or cat suffers from a urinary tract disorder, it would be more irritable and stressed from the pain and discomfort. Just like a human body, your dog’s body is also a very complex organic place where various biochemical reactions take place. Every dog and cat requires at least 50 key nutrients for a healthy and happy health condition.

Consult Your Veterinarian
It is advised to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular examinations and discuss the dietary needs of your dog. It is the best way to keep your pet both happy and healthy. If you experience any sudden mood swing in your pet, it can be the result of an underlying nutritional or health issue. Make sure it gets addressed promptly.

We, at North Point Vet, offer a comprehensive range of pet health care services across Bolton. Our Bolton animal hospital provides emergency medical assistance to pets and ensures their good health.

Post-Surgery Health Care Tips For Pets

When it comes to pet surgery, pet owners often get nervous. However, you can’t overlook it, if it’s the last alternative left to save your pet’s life. The surgical process can be handled by a reliable veterinarian. But, the responsibility begins once the pet is out of the operating room. You need to make it feel comfortable and relax in order to achieve quick recovery. Before discharging the pet, your veterinarian will provide you with a list of do’s and don’ts and other potential health problems to look for including medication.

Our veterinarians have compiled a list of things that pet owners need to take care of after your pet has undergone a surgery:

Immediately After Surgery

How long the pet will be staying in the hospital, it would be decided by the veterinarian. In case they see some improvement in the health condition, then you might take your pet home. Remember that the post-surgery period is quite complex as there are chances of complications. Thus, it is crucial for the pet owners to adhere to the recommendations and medications strictly.

What’s Next After Reaching Home

The effects of anesthesia stay even after several hours of the surgery, so let it rest in a quiet and comfortable place. You need to ensure that your pet takes adequate rest and doesn’t exert the body. Generally, pets are suggested liquid diets after surgery so they might need frequent bathroom breaks than usual. If you are taking the pet outdoors, make sure he’s urinating and secreting normally.

Make sure that your pet is receiving proper and timely medication as per veterinarian’s prescription. Painkillers and antibiotics might slow down his reflexes. Thus, it is advised to restrict its activities to prevent any injury.

Keep an eye on your pet’s eating and drinking, provide the special nutrients recommended by the veterinarian only. Avoid giving excess food and water until your dog/cat gets back to normal.

Monitoring Surgical Body Parts

It is advised to keep on monitoring the surgical parts. Some swelling is normal but be cautious about signs of odors, pain, redness or bruising. If you sense something fishy, call your veterinarian immediately. Don’t ever let the pet scratch the bandage or wound. If you couldn’t stop it from doing so, get an ‘e-collar’ to prevent scratching or chewing the wound.

Recovery Times

You can’t be sure about the recovery time as it depends on the type of surgery. However, in general complete recovery requires 2 to 3 months. Though, careful monitoring is advised for at least 6 months.

Post- Surgery Follow Up

It is crucial to maintain all the suggested follow-up appointments. This allows your veterinarian to keep an eye on your pet’s health and its progress. The vet will monitor the wounds and suggest reliable tests or x-rays to check the healing status.

Your veterinarian may also recommend physical therapy and body massage which can promote speedy recovery.

We, at North Point Vet, undertake orthopedic surgery of both cats and dogs to treat their orthopedic problems. We employ advanced tools and practices for effective pet health care.