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Holiday Care for Senior Dogs

The holiday season is upon us! Fido is an important part of the family, and often manages to be extra cute at this time of year. However, as your canine buddy ages, his needs will change a bit … and some of his holiday plans should, too. Here, a Westlake Hills, TX vet discusses caring for an older dog during the holidays.

Food

Older dogs often have quite sensitive stomachs, and may get sick from eating anything too rich or fattening. It’s fine to give Fido a yummy holiday treat, but stick to safe options. Cooked, plain meat, fish, or turkey with no skin, bones, or fat is a good bet. Sodium-free broth is also fine. Limit Fido’s intake of fatty foods, such as bacon and sausage; ham; processed meat; and organ meats, such as liver. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Gifts

A comfy bed would make Fido a wonderful gift! Orthopedic beds are great for older dogs, because they offer extra support. Your pup may also appreciate a heated bed or a thermal blanket. Pet ramps or stairs are another great gift idea. If your dog suffers from bone/joint problems, such as arthritis, ask your vet about pain management options. Even small things, like supplements and massages, can help.

Hazards

Although senior dogs aren’t as frisky as puppies, they still do sometimes chew or eat things they shouldn’t. Decorations, such as tinsel, ribbons, ornament hooks, ornaments, and electric lights, should be kept out of paws’ reach. Certain seasonal plants, including poinsettias, ivy, holly, and mistletoe, are toxic to dogs, and should also be placed in spots Fido can’t get to. Candles, fireplaces, and potpourri burners are hazardous as well.

Travel

While Fido may not mind a short trip to Grandma’s, if you’re going long distance, you may want to board him while you’re away. You’ll be able to relax, knowing that your furry buddy is safe and sound in great hands!

Guests

Some dogs get nervous when there are a lot of people around. If your canine friend is timid or uneasy around guests, put him in a quiet back room with food, toys, comfy bedding when you have company. Fido may not mind sleeping through the festivities!

Happy Holidays! Please contact us, your local Westlake Hills, TX vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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