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How to Make Your Senior Canines More Comfortable

The Senior Citizens of the canine world are undoubtedly troopers! But as strong as they are, their fragile states should always be given special attention during their stay.

Vets classify a dog to be a “senior” when he or she is about 7 years old, but depending on the dog’s size, smaller dogs have shorter life spans and their senior years hit a little earlier on.

From alleviating joint pain to administering feedings, seniors need to be prioritized in your daily routine. Here are a few ways to make sure they are happy, feeling at home, and completely comfortable at your facility:

1. Separate them from other dogs.

Most facilities separate dogs through size and temperament. If you haven’t thought to separate senior dogs into their own playgroup, then consider it! As if you were running a care home, keep them in one place away from hyperactive dogs to ease their moods. Have one employee in charge of all senior dogs so that they will receive all the one-on-one attention they need.

2. Give them a comfortable outdoor experience.

While playtime may be at specific times of the day for more active dogs, recommend a purchase of extra playtime to pet owners so that their dogs can combat any joint pain. This is where comfortable flooring is also a necessity, especially outdoor. While concrete is a durable surface, senior dogs may not find it so appealing when they want to lie down on a soft area. But even if you do have concrete floors, you can always tuck blankets and extra cushioning in a shaded area for dogs to relax on.

Go the extra mile by being a doggie masseuse. A massage treatment would be a helpful service to add to your menu. When you massage a dog’s joints, make sure they are lying in a position that won’t strain them. Check on them from time to time to see if they need help to change position or to give one side of their body a break from their weight.

3. Feed them as they would be fed at home.

Try to keep older dogs on their same at-home feeding schedule, as well as with the same type of food. Recommend to your customers that they should bring their own food from home so as not to disrupt their dog’s diet or eating habits. Seniors tend to have more sensitive digestive tracts and can be prone to diarrhea.

Ask pet owners to fill out their pet profiles with diet information in PawLoyalty kennel software. This will allow you to print out a room card with a feeding chart and check off the times the dog was fed and how much food was eaten.

4. Stick to their medication schedule as prescribed.

Being responsible for dozens of dogs at a time can make it difficult to keep to tasks that don’t flow with the regular facility routine, but having a Pet Health Record to keep track of medical information and to send you reminders will be a huge help.

Alongside the feeding, your kennel software will allow you to take note of when you administered the medicine and how much of it was consumed.

5. Be aware of their reduced physical senses.

If a dog cannot see you or hear you, your approach may be surprising, which might cause them to see you as a threat and react aggressively. Hold them gently and let them adapt to your presence before trying to move them. Make noise on your way as a warning so that you don’t startle them. Be patient if they tend to have the attitudes of grumpy old men.

6. Every dog has his time to pass.

If a senior dog passes away during their time at your facility, then make a plan of informing their owners and knowing what you will do with the body for the time being. It’s a disheartening part of having a pet in your care, but accepting it and training your employees on how to deal with death and the deceased pet owners will help. Make it a part of your plan to also remove a deceased pet from your kennel software so that their owners will not continue to receive notifications from your email marketing campaigns.

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Do you have any insights and tips on care for a senior dog? Share them!

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