What sort of resources & information do you offer your veterinary clients with senior pets?
As you may already know, one of my girls is a senior dog…a very, very senior dog. An 18 years & 1 month senior dog! I celebrated her 18th birthday by making a cake, putting silly party hats on both my dogs and writing a blog post: Ode to Isabel the 18 year old staffy
I've learned a few tricks along the way about how to make her senior years as comfortable as possible but I'm sure there are many, many more 'tricks of the trade' out there.
This is my plan…..
I'd like to collect as many ideas as possible about caring for senior pets that I can then turn into a resource that you can customise and share with your clients – ideas that you may not have thought to mention, but could make a big difference to their lives
So here is my list of 'Senior Dog Care Tips'
Keep up regular visits to your vet
There are amazing drugs that can make a big difference to mobility and incontinance – now is not the time to cut back on visits to the vet.
Getting woken up by night time wanderings? (this one's my favourite!)
I was getting up three to five times a night as Isabel would wander around the dark house bumping into walls & getting stuck in corners. So we bought some cheap night lights and made sure there was enough light for her to see so she could move between her two favourite beds – problem solved and no more getting up in the middle of the night for me.
Raise food & water bowls off the ground for easy access
You can buy fancy bowls that are higher than the usual dog bowl but I just turned a spare food bowl upside down and sat her bowl on top of that. So I guess it raised her bowl about 8cm off the ground which was enough for her. If you have a larger dog, I imagine this would need to be taken into account.
Food not so appealing?
Isabel has never been a 'piggy eater' – I know – amazing for a staffy! And as she has gotten older, food seems to be less appealing. So after 18 years of only veterinarian prescribed dry food, I now mix a small can of wet food into her kibble. I also find she eats it with more interest if add some warm water to make a sort of casserole.
Gotta keep moving.
Isabel still loves her walks, they're just much, much slower and shorter. I've found the best time for her is around 4pm in the afternoon. In the morning she's a little stiff and as we live in a warm climate, by 4pm the sea breeze has usually cooled the day down to a comfortable temperature. And we keep her walks to about a 15 minute very slow stroll.