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Canine Care & Prevention

From canine-specific grooming tips to parasite prevention to facts about vaccination, Purina offers a wide range of professional knowledge, advice and expertise.

Canine Care & Prevention

From canine-specific grooming tips to parasite prevention to facts about vaccination, Purina offers a wide range of professional knowledge, advice and expertise.

Dogs And Construction

Home repairs and redecorating can be hectic for the family, and dogs can become upset by the disruption of their daily routine. By anticipating their needs, you can help dogs get through the upheaval of home repairs and redecorating and be as happy in the refurbished home as in their old surroundings.

Keep your dog in an enclosed area with his favorite blanket, toys and other favorite objects to help provide some measure of security. Avoid putting a frightened dog in an area with a large window. A fearful dog might try to crash through the window to escape the noise.

After the workers leave for the day, dogs (like children) still need supervision and protection, as there may be sharp tools, paint, mineral spirits, paint remover, wood preservatives and other harmful items present.

Scrapings or dust from the removal of lead-based paint present another potential danger. The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that 80 percent of the private housing units built before 1980 contain some lead-based paint. Prevention is the best protection against lead poisoning. If feasible, have lead-based paint professionally removed and keep your dog away from the area. Be certain flaking paint or paint dust is promptly removed.

If bare wires are exposed, the possibility of an electric shock or even electrocution exists. Keeping your dog away from the work area is the best way to protect him.

If your kitchen is the focus of remodeling, you may rely on carryout food for several days or weeks. Carefully dispose of leftover food, paper containers and plastic wrap. A thorough clean-up can help keep dogs from eating leftovers or swallowing plastic wrap.

If it is a one-day job, take your dog to the groomer, a kennel that offers “doggie day care”, or to visit a pet-loving friend.

If your remodeling project is an extended one, you may want to board your dog or, if possible, isolate him in an area in the house that is free from remodeling.

As much as possible maintain routines of grooming and exercise and provide additional companionship and reassurance.

Weather Precautions

Just as we care for ourselves differently at different times of the year, we should be sensitive to our dog’s needs during colder and warmer weather conditions.

COLD WEATHER CARE

Well-nourished dogs, are better prepared to withstand the rigors of winter, particularly if housed outdoors. Outdoor dogs normally need more food to generate enough energy to cope with the cold. This is easily accomplished by feeding a high-quality nutritionally complete and balanced dog food. Offer your dog fresh water several times during the day. Electrically-heated water bowls are available, but still should be monitored regularly.

Dogs housed indoors may require less food in order to maintain good body condition. They tend to be less active and expend less energy. Short-haired dogs, geriatric dogs, and dogs with health problems may need the protective warmth of a dog sweater or jacket during outside jaunts.

An outdoor dog’s shelter should be insulated, elevated, protected from prevailing winds, and watertight. Because they use their own body heat to keep warm, the shelter should be small enough to preserve the dog’s body heat.

Remove packed snow or ice from between the toes of your dog’s paw pads and wipe the paws thoroughly. Otherwise, moisture can be trapped and cause sores. Salt and other de-icers spread on sidewalks and roads may also irritate the pads and cause them to bleed.

Because of its sweet taste, dog’s are attracted to antifreeze and lap it up when it is not properly disposed of. Antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Store antifreeze where dogs cannot reach it. Antifreeze poisoning requires immediate veterinary treatment.

You may find your indoor dog experiencing dry skin and shedding. This is usually the result of low humidity. Frequent brushing helps remove dead hairs, skin and stimulates oil glands.

Frostbite

If you suspect that your dog has frostbite, do not rub any frozen tissue, which will cause additional tissue damage. Seek veterinary treatment immediately.

WARM WEATHER CARE

As temperatures soar, dogs become more vulnerable to heat stress. Maintaining a comfortable environment for your dog is important. Providing plenty of cool, fresh water will help keep your dog cool throughout the summer.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke develops rapidly and is often associated with exposure to high temperatures, humidity and poor ventilation. Symptoms include panting, a staring or anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm, dry skin, extremely high temperature, dehydration, rapid heartbeat and collapse. Puppies and geriatric dogs tend to be more susceptible. Adult dogs more susceptible to heat stress include those who recently moved from cool to warmer climates, those with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, or with a history of heat stress. With any form of heat stress, prompt veterinary attention is important to deal with potential complications.

Periods of Confinement

Confinement in a car or any other poorly ventilated enclosure can be fatal to your dog. One study reports that when the outside temperature is 78°F, a closed car will reach 90°F in five minutes, and 110°F in 25 minutes.

Exercise

Avoid excessive exercising of your dog during hot days or warm, humid nights. The best time to exercise is either early in the morning before sunrise or late in the evening after the sun goes down.

Sunburn

Dogs who have recently received short haircuts may become sunburn victims and are as susceptible to heat stress as dogs who haven’t had their haircoat trimmed. In fact, your dog’s haircoat has insulating characteristics to help protect him from the heat.

Traveling With Your Dog

More pet owners are traveling with their furry friends and hotels nationwide are opening their doors to the practice. Several Web sites list welcoming facilities, allow you to make reservations online and offer reviews and advice from fellow travelers. Check out “petswelcome.com,” “petfriendly.com,” “bringyourpet.com,” “takeyourpet.com,” and “travelpets.com” or just search the Internet for “pet-friendly hotels.” Reviewing these options in advance can make the difference in how your trip unfolds.

Traveling By Car

Before taking your dog on a long trip, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will your dog be welcome at the vacation destination?
  • Will your dog enjoy the trip?
  • Is your dog in good health?

If you’ve answered “yes,” accustom your dog to riding in a car. Begin with short rides each day and gradually increase the length of each ride. If your dog is unable to adjust to short rides, a responsible sitter or a boarding kennel is preferable. If you board him, make reservations well in advance, especially for summer months and major holidays.

  • Do not feed your dog for at least three hours before leaving on a trip. Take your dog for a walk just before you start the drive and he will be more comfortable as the trip gets underway.
  • During stops, provide fresh drinking water for your dog.
  • Feed your dog shortly after you arrive at your destination or when you have stopped for the day.
  • If your car has adequate space, using a carrier is the safest way for your dog to travel. Never put the carrier on the sunny side of the car where your dog may become overheated.
  • If a carrier is not feasible for your dog, consider using a restraining harness. They come in different sizes to fit all breeds and are available at pet supply stores.
  • Always put your dog on a leash before letting him out of the car. If you walk your dog on the highway at night, wear reflective strips on your clothing and place a reflective collar on your dog for visibility and protection.
  • Never leave your dog in a closed car, even on a mild day. Temperatures in cars can rise quickly even if the windows are open slightly. The heat and insufficient air circulation can quickly lead to heat stress, suffocation and death.

Traveling By Air

Try to avoid peak travel periods when delays and stopovers are longer. Traveling in extreme hot or cold weather may be dangerous if your dog must wait very long before loading and unloading. Plan a trip with as few stops and transfers as possible.

  • Make hotel, resort and airline reservations for your dog well in advance. Some airlines have limited space for transporting pets.
  • Some airlines allow small dogs to travel with their owner (generally for an additional charge) if the carrier fits under the passenger seat. Otherwise, rent or purchase a carrier or crate which meets airline regulations and affix a LIVE ANIMAL sticker. Mark it with your name and address and the name of a person who can be contacted about your dog at your destination if necessary.
  • Put a cushion or blanket on the crate floor. Attach a water cup to the crate door. The cup should be deep, but not too full of water to avoid spilling.
  • On the day of the flight, take your dog for a long walk before leaving for the airport.
  • At the end of the trip, pick up your dog promptly.

Certain countries and island destinations require a quarantine period for animals at the owner’s expense. Ask your travel agent or the consul of the country you plan to visit about quarantines.

Health and Identification

  • Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • If the mosquito season begins earlier or ends later in the area you will be visiting, make sure you bring the appropriate heartworm protection.
  • Be certain your dog is wearing an identification tag giving his name, your name and home address and telephone number including the area code.
  • Take along color pictures of your dog and a written description of his colorings and distinguishing marks. Record your dog's body size and weight. If he is lost, these identification aids could make the difference in locating him.

Packing for Your Dog

  • Carry your dog’s health and rabies certificates with you. They may be needed if you fly anywhere or may be required if you board your dog during your trip.
  • Pack your dog’s water and food bowls, grooming equipment and any heartworm or other medicine it may require
  • If you are not certain that your dog’s usual diet will be available at your destination, take a supply with you to avoid digestive upsets which could be caused by a sudden diet change.

At your vacation site, observe all rules and regulations regarding pets. Confine your dog in a carrier or restricted space when leaving him alone. Your consideration will help keep dogs welcome guests.

Yard Safety For Dogs

How can I make my yard safer and more pleasant for my dog?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

If you’re lucky enough to have an enclosed yard for your dog, you may want to take a few simple steps to make it even safer and more pleasant for your pet. Start by picking up any debris and carefully checking the fence for holes. You may also want to consider investing in an invisible fence so that you don’t need to worry about your precocious pup jumping or digging his way out.

Then consider the landscaping. Is there a shady spot for your dog to rest in the heat? Is it free of poisonous plants? If you’re not sure what to avoid, ask your veterinarian for a list of hazardous flowers and shrubs.

Finally, provide your dog with a dry and comfy shelter, plenty of toys, and a big bowl of fresh water.

–Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM

Home Safe Home For Dogs

Even pets that spend most of their time indoors may be exposed to a number of potential hazards. The following list will help keep your home safe and sound for your dog or cat.

  1. Be aware of the plants you have in your house and in your yard. The ingestion of a poisonous plant can be fatal. Click here for a list of potentially poisonous plants.
  2. When cleaning your house, never allow your dog to have access to the area where cleaning agents are used or stored. Some may only cause a mild stomach upset, while others could cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach, or even be fatal.
  3. When using rat or mouse baits, ant or roach traps, or snail and slug baits, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your pet. Most bait contains sweet-smelling, inert ingredients, such as jelly, peanut butter and sugars, which can be very attractive to your dog.
  4. Never give your dog any medications unless under the direction of a veterinarian. Many medications used safely in humans can be deadly to a dog.
  5. Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of your dog, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain-killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are common examples of human medications that could be potentially lethal, even in small dosages.
  6. Never leave chocolates unattended. Approximately one half ounce or less of baking chocolate per pound of body weight can cause problems. Even small amounts can cause pancreatic problems in dogs.
  7. Many common household items have been shown to be lethal in other species. Miscellaneous items that are highly toxic even in low quantities include pennies (high concentration of zinc), mothballs (contains naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene one or two balls can be life-threatening in most species), potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, automatic dish detergents (contain cationic detergents which could cause corrosive lesions), batteries (contain acids or alkali which can also cause corrosive lesions), homemade play dough (contains high quantity of salt), winter heat source agents like hand or foot warmers (contain high levels of iron), cigarettes, coffee grounds and alcoholic drinks.
  8. Automotive products such as oil, gasoline and antifreeze should be stored properly. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) can be deadly in a dog.
  9. Before buying or using flea products on your dog or in your household, contact your veterinarian to discuss what types of flea products are recommended for him. Read ALL information before using a product on your pet or in your home. Always follow label instructions. Also, when using a fogger or a house spray, make sure to remove all pets from the area for the time period specified on the container. If you are uncertain about the usage of any product, contact the manufacturer or your veterinarian to clarify the directions BEFORE using the product.
  10. When treating your lawn or garden with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, always keep your dog away from the area until the area dries completely. Discuss usage of products with the product manufacturer. Always store such products in an area that will ensure no possible pet exposure.
  11. Sharp objects such as knives and forks, paper clips, carpet tacks and pins should be kept out of a pet's reach. Children's toys and small objects may attract a playful dog and become lodged in his mouth or swallowed.
  12. Exposed lamp cords and other wires should be kept as short as possible and, ideally, out of your dog’s sight and reach. If extension cords are used, mount them against a baseboard so they cannot be played with or chewed.
  13. Dogs are sometimes at risk on a high-rise balcony. A lively dog could squeeze through the bars and fall, leading to injury or even death.
  14. Other health-threatening pollutants are radon gas; fumes from household products such as cleaning agents, pesticides, paints and varnishes; and microbial and fungal agents found in air conditioners, air ducts, filters and humidifiers. Among common air pollutants are nitrogen dioxide from gas appliances, wood-burning stoves and un-vented kerosene heaters. Gas stoves and kerosene heaters or stoves should be vented to the outside of the house.
  15. Lead paint should be removed with extreme caution. Cleanup should be prompt and thorough. Other items containing lead accessible to dogs include lead-base paint, linoleum and caulking compounds. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, loss of appetite or muscle coordination, blindness and seizures.

Dog Bathing

How should I properly bathe my dog?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

An occasional bath is good for a dog. But if you wash your dog improperly, you could do more harm than help. So here are some tips…

Before washing a dog, you’ll need to choose a shampoo. Dogs with dry or sensitive skin, or who are bathed more often, may need special, medicated shampoo from a veterinarian. Dogs who are bathed infrequently, on the other hand, can tolerate most human shampoos.

Never wash your dog with an outside hose because the water is too cold. Instead, put a nonskid mat on the bottom of a bathtub, and run lukewarm water until it reaches the dog’s knee level. Wet the pup down using a pitcher or detachable shower spray, lather him up all over, and rinse thoroughly.

– Dr. Larry McDaniel, DVM

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

A dog’s dental health depends a lot on its breed and diet. But dogs can get gum disease from plaque on their teeth. And gum disease and tooth decay can start early in a pup’s life, so the sooner you attend to your dog’s teeth, the better.

Ideally, you should brush your pup’s teeth each day with a soft bristle brush and a special veterinary enzymatic toothpaste. This comes in flavors such as beef, so your dog will think of it as a treat. Simply push the skin back from your pup’s mouth and use a back-and-forth motion on the outside of your dog’s closed teeth. The pooch never even has to open his jaw!

If you have trouble, talk to your veterinarian. He or she may recommend an anti-plaque mouthwash or a bio-adhesive film instead.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM

Poisonous Plants For Dogs

Some of the following plants can be toxic to your dog. Check with your veterinarian before having them in your home.

  • Aloe Vera
  • Apple (seeds)
  • Apricot (pit)
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Baby's Breath
  • Branching Ivy
  • Buddhist Pine
  • Calla Lily
  • Ceriman
  • Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves)
  • Cineraria
  • Cordatum
  • Cornstalk Plant
  • Cuban Laurel
  • Cycads
  • Daffodil
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dragon Tree
  • Easter Lily (especially cats!)
  • Elephant Ears
  • English Ivy
  • Fiddle-leaf Fig
  • Foxglove
  • Geranium
  • Giant Dumb Cane
  • Gold Dust Dracaena
  • Hahn's Self-Branching Ivy
  • Hurricane Plant
  • Janet Craig Dracaena
  • Jerusalem Cherry
  • Lacy Tree Philodendron
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Marijuana
  • Miniature Croton
  • Morning Glory
  • Narcissus
  • Nephytis
  • Oleander
  • Oriental Lily (especially cats!)
  • Peach (wilting leaves and pits)
  • Plumosa Fern
  • Poison Ivy
  • Pothos
  • Primrose
  • Red Princess
  • Rhododendron
  • Saddle Leaf Philodendron
  • Satin Pothos
  • Silver Pothos
  • String of Pearls
  • Sweetheart Ivy
  • Taro Vine
  • Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
  • Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
  • Yew
  • Amaryllis
  • Apple Leaf Croton
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Azalea
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Buckeye
  • Caladium
  • Castor Bean
  • Charming Dieffenbachia
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Clematis
  • Corn Plant
  • Croton
  • Cutleaf Philodendron
  • Cyclamen
  • Devil's Ivy
  • Dracaena Palm
  • Dumb Cane
  • Elaine
  • Emerald Feather
  • Eucalyptus
  • Florida Beauty
  • Fruit Salad Plant
  • German Ivy
  • Glacier Ivy
  • Golden Pothos
  • Heartland Philodendron
  • Indian Rubber Plant
  • Japanese Show Lily (especially cats!)
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Marble Queen
  • Mexican Breadfruit
  • Mistletoe
  • Mother-in-Law's Tongue
  • Needlepoint Ivy
  • Nightshade
  • Onion
  • Peace Lily
  • Pencil Cactus
  • Poinsettia (low toxicity)
  • Poison Oak
  • Precatory Bean
  • Red Emerald
  • Red-Margined Dracaena
  • Ribbon Plant
  • Sago Palm
  • Schefflera
  • Spotted Dumb Cane
  • Striped Dracaena
  • Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Tiger Lily (especially cats!)
  • Tree Philodendron
  • Weeping Fig

Basic Shots For Dogs

To prevent health conditions, all dogs should follow a routine vaccination schedule administered by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian may provide routine vaccinations for canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, coronavirus, parainfluenza, Bordetella, Lyme disease and rabies.

Remember, most vaccines must be given over a period of time and require multiple veterinary visits. So check with your veterinarian and get ready for a happy, healthy friendship with your dog.

Distemper

A highly contagious, often fatal virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system. Generally this virus spreads as an airborne infection, so vaccination is the only effective control.

Adenovirus

Also know as infectious hepatitis, a viral condition that affects the liver and cells lining the blood vessels and can cause high fever, thirst, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, liver damage and hemorrhage.

Coronavirus

A highly contagious viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, high fever and dehydration.

Leptospirosis

An extremely contagious condition that spreads through contact with nasal secretions, urine or saliva of infected animals, and can affect humans as well. The ailment causes inflamed kidneys, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Liver damage can also occur.

Parvovirus

A common and potentially fatal viral infection, symptoms of which include loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. If left untreated, parvovirus can kill puppies very quickly.

Parainfluenza

This virus is one of a number of infectious agents that cause what is often called “kennel cough.” This health condition is highly contagious and affects the respiratory system.

Rabies

Rabies is a fatal infection of the central nervous system that can affect all mammals, especially raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes, domestic dogs and cats, and humans. Since rabies poses a serious public health threat, most states require dogs to receive this vaccination.

Moving With A Dog

I'm moving to a new home. How can I help ease the transition for my dog?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

The most important thing you can do to keep your dog relaxed and happy when you move is to maintain as normal a routine as possible throughout the process. Melissa Bain, Assistant Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, explains: “Go out for walks, go for play sessions, go for training, et cetera.”

As you pack and unpack, create a comfort zone in a quiet room with the dog’s regular toys, bowls, and bedding. Take time to reassure Fido or Fifi that things are fine. Should the dog show signs of stress, from panting and pacing to full-blown panic and escape behavior, consult your veterinarian. And just in case, make sure your pet’s ID information is up to date.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM 

Learn more about our dog food ingredients and AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.

Caring For Your Older Dog

Even though your dog may be slowing down, there is no reason the older years can't be some of the best years. With regular veterinary attention, daily care and proper nutrition, your older dog can still experience a happy and healthy life.

Recognizing Your Dog Is Getting Older

The most practical way to tell if your dog is getting older is by observing his behavior and appearance. Simply put, how old does your dog act, look, and feel? The following are some common signs of aging and what they may indicate about a dog's health. Use these signs as a guideline in determining if your dog is an older dog.

Changes in Hearing

You can tell if you dog's hearing isn't as sharp as it used to be if he doesn't respond to his name or verbal commands, or suddenly barks for no reason.

Changes in Urination and Housetraining Habits

Excessive thirst and frequent or uncontrolled urination are often signs of kidney problems or diabetes. Inappropriate urination may be a sign of incontinence caused by a hormone imbalance, which is most common in spayed females, or caused by other medical conditions.

Changes in Eating Habits

An older dog is more likely to develop tooth and gum conditions. And because of sore gums or loose teeth, he may let food drop out of his mouth or even refuse to eat.

Breathing Problems

Coughing, difficulty in breathing and tiredness could indicate possible cardiac problems.

Changes in Vision

A hazy, bluish cast on your aging dog's eyes is normal and usually does not hinder the eyesight. However, the hazy, whitish growth of cataracts can lead to blindness. Your veterinarian can help you distinguish the difference.

Weight Gain or Loss

Like humans, a dog's metabolism slows down as he gets older. And because older dogs may not be as active as they used to be, they have a tendency to gain weight. Performing a rib check can help determine if he's overweight. Sudden weight loss or unplanned chronic weight loss should be reported to your veterinarian. This could be a sign of an internal problem.

Skin and Coat

For older dogs, you'll notice that the skin thickens and becomes less pliable. It's a good idea to check for large lumps on or under the skin. This could be a sign of a tumor, cyst or cancer.

Tiredness and Lameness

As a dog gets older, you'll notice a decrease in energy level. He becomes tired more easily and likes to nap often. He can experience stiffness in his leg, hip and shoulder joints. This could just be normal wear and tear, or it could be a result of an old injury or a sign of arthritis.

How Old is Your Dog?

Generally, larger dogs begin aging earlier than smaller breeds. For example, if your dog is a Saint Bernard, he could be considered a geriatric dog as early as six years. But medium-sized dogs don't usually show signs of aging until nine to eleven years. And small breeds like toy poodles probably won't show signs until they're at least eleven. In addition to a dog's breed, specific lifestyle factors affect a dog's longevity.

Proper Medical Care

Regular checkups are a must for older dogs. In addition to annual vaccinations and checkups, talk to your veterinarian about special geriatric screenings for your dog. You should be aware of some of the problems seen in the senior dog. It is important to keep a record of any of these warning signs and report them to your veterinarian.

Warning Signs
Diabetes or Kidney Problems Drinks excessively. Urinates excessively. Weight loss.
Hormone Imbalance Incontinence (uncontrolled urination). Especially present in spayed females.
Arthritis Stiffness and lameness, especially after napping.
Heart or Lung Conditions Frequent coughing. Trouble breathing. Tires easily.
Cataracts Hazy, whitish appearance to the eyes. Can impair vision.
Gum Conditions Bad breath. Trouble eating hard foods because of sore gums and loose teeth.
Tumors or Cysts Large lumps on or under dog's skin.

Keeping Weight in Check

Heart conditions, joint pain, and diabetes can all be influenced by obesity. Discuss your dog's feeding program with your veterinarian to be sure he is getting the proper nutrition for his age and activity level.

Proper Nutrition

Aside from regular veterinary care, proper nutrition is one of the most important things you can do to help your dog maintain a long, happy and healthy life. Transitioning your dog to a senior life stage food will help him maintain his weight and give him the extra nutrition he needs. Learn more about our dog food ingredients and AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.

When Your Dog Has Special Dietary Needs

If your dog is experiencing medical problems, check with your veterinarian to see if he could benefit from a special diet formulated to help meet the special nutritional needs of dogs who suffer from certain heart conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, kidney problems and obesity.

Proper Exercise

Because obesity and arthritis are two of the most common problems experienced by older dogs, regular exercise is very important. However, if your dog does have arthritis, consult your veterinarian before beginning an exercise program.

Daily Routine

Being consistent with a daily routine is also important to your older dog's physical, mental and emotional health.

Maintaining a Healthy Skin and Coat

As part of your dog's complete home health care program, you may want to schedule a special grooming session at least once a week. Bathing your older dog regularly is also very important. This is another great opportunity to give your dog that loving attention he needs.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums

Routine dental care by your veterinarian is very important since older dogs are more prone to gum disease and tartar buildup on their teeth. In addition to regular visits with a professional, it's always a good idea for you to check your dog's teeth and gums regularly.

Emotional Needs

It is your responsibility to be sensitive to what your older dog is going through and understand that he's also experiencing a lot of psychological changes. Daily care of your older dog requires a little more patience on your part.
With your special loving care and commitment, he can enjoy a quality life during these senior years.