As your dog gets older, its body will begin to change. In particular, your dog will become more susceptible to a range of health problems. This is why senior dogs require attentive care, extending all the way to their diets, which we are exploring today in this blog.
When is a dog considered ‘senior’?
Whether or not your dog is considered senior depends on a number of factors:
- Breed. Generally, smaller dogs tend to have a longer lifespan than bigger dogs.
- Lifestyle. A dog that is unhealthy and overweight will also age faster than one that gets plenty of exercise and good food.
Generally speaking, depending on the breed and size of your dog, dogs can start to be considered senior from anywhere between 5-9 years old. However, the only surefire way to know whether your dog is senior and needs senior care is by regularly visiting your local vet for checkups.
Dogs with gastrointestinal problems
If your dog is suffering from gastrointestinal issues – such as constipation or diarrhoea – then you should:
- Ensure you aren’t feeding your dog fatty foods or bones, as these items are generally not digested well
- Try and avoid treats
- Invest in fibre-rich food/additives (this helps both constipation and diarrhoea).
Dogs with dental issues
Steer clear of buying canned food for your senior dog, as it is sticky. The stickiness of the food means it can become lodged on or in between your dog’s teeth, which encourages the growth of plaque and tartar. Instead, purchase dry kibble that is suitable for senior dogs. The kibble scrapes against tartar and plaque and helps to remove it.
Dogs with kidney or heart disease
Does your dog have a form of kidney or heart disease? If so, you should avoid buying foods with excess salt and protein. Although there is no proof to suggest that doing so will prevent the disease altogether, avoiding these things will help ease the painful effects of the disease. Ensure your dog is also getting plenty of water.
As dogs age, their metabolism slows – not unlike humans. Slower metabolism means that it is easier for your dog to put on weight, and obesity can lead to a range of other health issues for your dog. The main things you should not be buying for your dog are treats and bones.
To combat your senior dog’s obesity, you should consult your local Bulleen vet, Vets on Parker. We offer a range of pet services, including weight management plans, dental care and surgery. Get in touch with a friendly Bulleen vet today on (03) 9850 1355.
When it comes to deciding between wet or canned food for your pet, there are a number of pros and cons on each side. However, the vets at our Bulleen veterinary clinic usually recommend dry food over wet food for both cats and dogs. Today we are explaining exactly why dry food is better for your pet than wet food.
The main benefit of wet food is that it can be recommended for dogs with health conditions such as kidney stones or struvite crystals.
There are, however, more downsides to wet food:
- Wet food has a shorter shelf life, meaning you’ll need to buy it more often and in smaller quantities, which can be inconvenient
- It is more expensive
- Wet food can be messy and stick in between teeth, which can be bad news for dental health
- Wet food can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea
Like canned food for dogs, wet cat food is hydrating and is sometimes recommended to cats that have the following:
- Kidney problems
- Lower urinary tract disease (as the diluted urine lessens the pain and/or frequency of symptoms)
The downsides to wet cat food are similar to that of canned dog food (listed above).
Dry dog food holds many more benefits than wet dog food. There are a number of benefits to dry kibble for dogs:
- It’s much easier to store, lasts longer and is more cost efficient
- Kibble helps to remove built-up tartar and plaque, which is better for your pet’s dental health
The only main downside to dry food (for both cats and dogs) is that it is not as hydrating as wet food. However, providing your pet with clean water does the trick just fine.
While dry food does not substitute for proper dental care, dry cat food is also commonly agreed to be better for your cat’s teeth than canned food. It is also more affordable and convenient than canned food, which is another plus point. Therefore, dry food is also better for your cat than canned food.
Got any more questions about dry and canned pet food? Vets on Parker can help with any concerns you might have, from feeding plans to dental care. Book an appointment at our Bulleen veterinary clinic today on (03) 9850 1355.
Taking your dog to the dog park can be rewarding for both of you. Interaction with other dogs is necessary for your pet’s social skills, while meeting other owners can be fun for you, too. But for the safety of your dog and others, there are some dog park etiquette tips you should keep in mind before going. Today, we are running through some basic tips that will help keep the dog park a fun place for everyone.
Always exercise your dog before going to the park
After being inside all day, there’s nothing better than going outside – right? Unsurprisingly, your dog definitely agrees. The park is filled with excitement in the form of other dogs, people and activities to finally interact with.
However, if your dog is little too excited, he or she can actually instigate a fight with another dog. To avoid this, allow your dog to let off some steam before hitting the park by exercising at home beforehand.
Always bring plastic bags
Keeping the area clean and hygienic is not only basic decency as an owner – it’s safer for the dogs in that environment. Other dogs can contract a number of diseases if they come into contact with your dog’s waste. Therefore, it is pertinent to keep plastic bags with you at the dog park, even if the park offers bags to visitors.
Make sure your dog is suitable for the park
The dog park is meant to be a safe place for dogs to play nicely with each other. For the health and safety of your dog and others, you should ensure your pet would be suitable to bring to a dog park so that it remains a safe place for everyone.
Avoid bringing your dog to the park if he or she is:
- A puppy
- Pregnant/on the heat
- Unvaccinated, or not up-to-date on vaccinations
- Not desexed
- Aggressive or possessive
Always pay attention to your dog
You know your dog best. At the dog park, it’s important to pay attention to your pet and notice when abnormal behaviour is occurring (particularly anti-social, shy or aggressive cues). Looking out for signs that your dog needs to be taken out of the park can even prevent a fight.
Searching for a vet in Bulleen? Vets on Parker are happy to help with any concerns you might have for your pet. Call us on (03) 9850 1355 to talk to our friendly staff today.