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How to Care for Senior Labrador Retrievers

Your Labrador Retriever has been a part of your family for many years. He or she is now entering their senior years. Although your Lab may still be playful and active, there are specific needs that you will need to provide for him or her in order to make the senior years comfortable and happy. Learn more about caring for senior Labrador Retriever today and your dog will soon be a happy senior.

  • Veterinarian Check-Up – First you will want to schedule a check-up for your Lab at the veterinarian office. The vet will conduct a physical exam, run tests and provide insight into your Lab’s health. If there are any specific illnesses or ailments your veterinarian will provide details on how to cure or lessen symptoms regarding the health issue.
  • Diet – Your Labrador Retriever will need to receive a variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in his or her diet on a daily basis. Depending on your dog’s health, the veterinarian will recommend a specific diet that will benefit your dog’s health.
  • Frequent Bathroom Use – Your Lab may begin to need to use the bathroom more often that when he or she was younger. You will want to either provide access to the outdoors or invest in puppy pads that you can conveniently place throughout your home in order to help your dog quickly reach the designated area for bathroom use.
  • Inability to Use the Stairs – Your Lab may have spent his or her entire life running up and down the stairs. But now, you may notice that there is difficulty climbing the stairs. You will want to close off the access to the staircase with a baby gate to prevent your dog from using the stairs.
  • Loss of Hearing – You may notice that your pooch doesn’t coming running when you call his or her name. There is a possibility that he or she is losing their hearing. You will want to learn different ways to get your dog’s attention. Usually approaching your dog and using a hand signal that signifies to your dog that you want him or her to come will help.
  • Blindness – Sometimes blindness can go undetected by dog owners due to a dog’s ability to use his or her other senses to navigate through the house and other familiar places. But there will be times when your dog may be standing or sitting next to someone and not acknowledge the person. Or, your dog may hesitate when jumping up on to the furniture.

One of the main focuses you will want to keep an eye on as your dog ages is his or her weight. Obesity can cause a variety of health issues in dog’s that can negatively impact their life. Always provide a healthy diet for your dog and remember not to provide too many treats per day. Access to plenty of fresh water is required every day. Remember to be patient with your dog as he or she enjoys their senior years. They are adjusting to a new way of living and surely appreciating your help along the way.

Photo credit: Pete Markham/Flickr

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