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Tips on Adopting a Senior Dog

November 1, 2018

November is Adopt A Senior Dog Month! Older dogs can make wonderful pets. They’re usually very sweet and gentle, and have less behavioral issues, such as digging and chewing. They’re also absolutely adorable! Here, an Ashburn, VA vet discusses adopting senior dogs.


Younger pooches need lots of activity and stimulation. However, with older dogs, keeping them comfortable is more important than keeping them entertained. Your pooch will still need some activity, however. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Get Fido a good, high-quality doggy bed. We recommend getting an orthopedic bed, as they offer extra support. You may also want to pick up some pet ramps or stairs. If you have areas that could be dangerous, such as a stairway your pooch could fall down, get baby gates to block off that area. We also recommend getting elevated doggy dishes: these are much more comfortable for older dogs than eating from bowls on the floor.

Veterinary Care

Take Fido to the vet for a full exam within the first few days. Most older dogs have already been fixed, but you’ll still need to make sure your pooch is microchipped, and current on his vaccinations and parasite control products. While you’re there, get some professional advice on your dog’s diet and care needs.


It isn’t uncommon for older dogs to become incontinent. This isn’t Fido’s fault: many times, senior pooches just can’t help it. Be prepared to wipe up the occasional mess. Setting out puppy pads may help. Doggy diapers can also be helpful, but it’s best to use these when you are around to change them immediately. Fido could develop painful rashes if he has to wear a wet diaper until you get home. Ask your vet for more information.

Be Ready To Commit

A senior pooch won’t have as much time remaining as a young dog, which means that you’ll have a shorter commitment. That said, make sure that you’re ready to care for Fido for the rest of his life.

Fall In Love

Older pooches are just as cute as puppies in their own way. It may not take Fido long at all to steal your heart! Tail wags from senior dogs are truly precious gifts in our book!

Please call us, your local Ashburn, VA vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!