The recent drives to promote the adoption of senior rescue dogs is a huge step in the right direction. Every day, thousands of older dogs are placed in shelters. They are abandoned and have little chance for escape. Even puppies can have trouble finding a home, and it’s much harder for the seniors because:
- Many deem older dogs as being “lazy” or “not as fun as a puppy”
- Others believe they’re little more than a walking collection of health problems
The reality is that senior dogs deserve a second chance at life. Whatever their circumstances for ending up on death row, they deserve the opportunity to get out and flourish in a rescue home. If you’ve decided to adopt an adult or senior dog, congratulations. You are making a huge difference in that dog’s life. Here are 4 things you can do to make sure your new senior is staying healthy, active, and living her new life to the fullest:
- Senior Blood Panel
All breeds are different in when they enter their senior years, but no matter what, after age 4, all dogs should begin getting yearly or twice-yearly blood tests.
A senior blood panel test is a great idea. It tests:
- Complete blood count
- White blood cell count
- Red blood cell count
- Kidney and liver function
- Pancreatic function
And much more. Catching problems in these areas can literally add years to your new buddy’s life.
- Dental Work
Having dental done for senior can be tricky. If they have to be put under, this can be dangerous, depending on your dog’s health. But, having your regular vet monitor the state of their teeth and gums is important. So is brushing their teeth regularly. Many health problems start in the mouth. Tartar and bad breath are signs that something could be going wrong.
- Check Their Eyes
Despite common belief, dogs of all ages should have bright, clear eyes. Cloudiness is a sign of internal problems. If your senior is healthy, their eyes should be clear.
- Best Diet Possible
What you feed your dog is a highly personal choice. Whether it’s bones and raw food, high-end kibble, or home made meals, the important thing is to focus on giving your senior the maximum nutrition possible at each meal. If they are overweight, a consistent walking routine and good diet will slim them down, and take the stress off of their joints and internal organs. This alone can extend their life, and give them back some of that long-forgotten puppy energy.