February 23rd is Walk Your Dog Day! While many younger pooches will be happily running to get their leashes, or jumping for joy to know it’s time for a walk, older pups will be plodding towards the door, and then trudging loyally along beside you. Read on as a local Westminster, MD vet offers some advice on walking a senior dog.
Let Fido Pick The Pace
When Fido was a puppy, he may have been a furry bundle of zoom. Now, he’s probably much slower. Don’t worry about going fast or slow. Just let your canine pal pick the pace.
Keep It Short In Bad Weather
Older dogs are much more susceptible to bad weather than young pups are. They also can’t tolerate going from hot to cold environments very quickly. When it’s cold out, you may want to put a sweater on your furry bff. On hot days, bring some water along. Either way, don’t stay out too long!
Be Careful At Night
Fido may begin to have trouble seeing at night as he grows older, and his hearing may fade. This makes him more susceptible to getting injured, especially at night. Be extra vigilant after dark! Also, make sure your canine buddy has a reflective leash or collar on.
Play It Safe
Always put your four-legged friend’s safety first. Don’t take Fido near potential hazards, such as busy roads or riverbanks.
Fido’s furry feet will benefit from some extra TLC as he grows older. Keep his nails trimmed, and use paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize his toe beans. Also, try to keep him on soft ground as much as you can, especially when it’s really hot out.
Watch For Fatigue
Just like people, senior dogs can get tired very quickly. Keep an eye out for indications that Fido is starting to get fatigued, such as panting or lagging behind. Take him in if you notice any of these warning signs.
The main design flaw with dogs is that they just don’t stay with us long enough. Treasure this special time with your canine friend. Those long, relaxing strolls with Fido will someday be a cherished memory. They may do you a world of good as well!
Do you have questions or concerns about caring for a senior dog? Contact us, your local Westminster, MD veterinary clinic, today!