Some people don’t believe that older dogs should be vaccinated. However, dogs do not have uniform levels of immunity. Every dog is different, in other words, and some vaccines only provide a short duration of immunity. Some only last a year. Also, genetics can play a role in whether or not your dog will have a high enough titer to prevent parvo if he or she is not vaccinated on a routine basis.
At Countryside Animal Health Center we offer many vaccines 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. Please 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. Our vets may have some important recommendations based on the lifestyle 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 as 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 an advantage in the wild, where older animals aren’t able to hunt as efficiently as their younger peers.
However, when our pets live in our house, they rarely have to “catch” their food. That means we need to feed them less so they don’t get fat. Older pets also have a higher need for certain nutrients such as antioxidants 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 on and 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.