Puppies or younger dogs aren’t the only type of dog that will change your life forever, senior dogs bring the magic too. Not to mention it will be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, and you’ll be happy knowing you saved a life and opened up a dog to the love they didn’t know they could have. While adopting senior dogs have their perks, they also have their fair share of challenges – but nothing that should stop you from following your heart.

The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

Senior dogs know who they are, they usually know how they like their space, and they aren’t as high energy as your average puppy. Those are big green flags in our book. Most importantly, there’s less training involved, and lower energy = fewer exercise needs.

The Challenges of Adopting a Senior Dog

Loving and caring for your older pet takes time and patience, too. You’ll need to pay close attention to their health, and Airvet is here to answer any and all questions regarding your doggo’s health. The biggest challenges of adopting a senior dog include:

  • Health Problems – It’s the nature of the beast, just like humans, puppies grow into senior pets that will inevitably have health issues. Of course, some are more pressing than others, but you will most likely have to deal with at least some health issues. The most common issues will be vision and hearing loss, and joint pain (because all that running around they did from their golden years catches up to them).
  • Mobility Challenges – Just like joint problems, mobility challenges could appear as your dog gets older. Since one of the symptoms of this is a lack of interest in moving, 9 times out of 10 it’s because they are experiencing pain when they attempt to move their body. If you live in a two-story house, an easy way to alleviate some of the stress is to have their home base be on the ground floor, so they don’t have to constantly be walking up and downstairs.
  • Wariness around children & dogs – It’s a bummer, but it’s true. Some senior doggo’s can experience anxiety or fear around children and other dogs. However, the breed of the dog is a huge factor in this one. Some breeds may become more irritable, while others will stay neutral.

Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy

Keeping your older dog happy and healthy is the most important thing. Some big hitters on maintaining a healthy pup are:

  • Give Them the Right Food – Make sure you know what food they were eating before you buy them the food you want them to eat. Transitioning from one diet to another so fast can cause your pupper’s stomach to become upset. Try adding a little bit of the food they were eating before to the new food. In a week or so, you can ween them off and you will have successfully transitioned them!

If you’re adopting them and they have known health issues, it’s important to speak with a vet about what food will be the best for them. A dog with joint issues will need different nutrients than a dog without them.

  • Talk to a Vet oftenTHIS IS KEY! If you don’t have a vet, find one you like and start building a relationship with them and your dog. Your vet needs to know your dog’s health before you pull the trigger on giving them anything to alleviate any problems. Trust us, they know what will be best, and they’re happy to help. If you don’t have a vet or need one ASAP – just hop on Airvet for a virtual health screening. It’s fast, convenient, and we’re always eager to help.
  • Think about supplements – Of course, you don’t want to give your dog any supplements that humans take – but dogs have their own! Make sure you consult your vet so they can let you know if and what vitamins your dog isn’t getting from their dog food.

Now that you know the pros and cons of adopting a senior dog, the most important thing is that if you do adopt one, know that you’ve boosted their quality of life and they will love you for the rest of their joyful life.

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