Senior Pet Care
Some people don’t believe that older dogs should be vaccinated. However, because of the different type of immunity our pets have compared to humans, some vaccines can only provide a short duration of immunity – such as a year or two – depending on the vaccine. Also, genetics can play a factor as to whether your dog will have a high enough titer to prevent parvo if it is not vaccinated on a routine basis.
At Countryside Animal Health Center we provide some vaccines that are guaranteed to provide a titer for up to 3 years, however, not all diseases are covered by 3 year vaccines. Vaccines are important for ALL ages of dogs and cats. Talk to our doctors about senior pet care and which vaccines are very important for your particular dog to continue to receive in their old age. They may have some important recommendations based on the life style of you and your pet.
Unfortunately here on Earth we all age. The sad part is that the older we get, the less likely we can eat like we used to as kids and teenagers! Dogs and cats are exactly like us in that regard. Older pets have slower metabolisms which means they don’t need to eat as much to maintain their weight. That is good when they were in the wild since as they age, they might not be able to catch their prey as easily as when they were young.
However, when our pets live in our house, they rarely have to “catch” their food but their metabolism still slows down and we need to feed them less so they don’t get fat. Older pets also have a higher need for certain nutrients such as anti-oxidants and glucosamine. For more information about this, see the Performance Dog Nutrition book written by Dr. Jacobs here on this website. She provides a lot of important information on nutrition for young, middle-aged and older dogs in that book.
Arthritis and Pain
With older age comes more aches and pains as muscles and tendons don’t have the flexibility they had when our pets were younger. Our pets also develop arthritis from old injuries or chronic jumping up and down off things or running up and down the stairs. The doctors at Countryside Animal Health Center have MANY different options for your older pet that may have arthritis and pain. See our website under veterinary chiropractic for treatment options to help eliminate pain and also provide better mobility for your older pet.
Jocelynn Jacobs DVM, CVC Dr. Jacobs is a veterinarian, breeder and exhibitor of Alaskan Malamutes. She has finished over 20 champions and has 20 working titles on her dogs to date. She owns a small animal practice in Freeland, Michigan where she enjoys working with...read more