caring for an elderly dog
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caring for an elderly dog

When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.


caring for an elderly dog

How To Prepare Your Dog For Veterinary Surgery

Lucy Grant

It is always stressful when your dog needs to have veterinary surgery. Your veterinarian knows best how you should prepare your dog for surgery and he will inform you of his concerns and requirements. Here are a few other suggestions that may also help to prepare you and your dog for his upcoming veterinary surgery:

  • Bathe Your Dog - A day or two before your dog's scheduled surgery, examine him thoroughly to make sure he is clean and has no fleas, tics, or other skin issues or problems. If possible, give your dog a bath, towel dry him, and brush his coat. Check your dog's paws and clean them well. Keep him clean for the next few days before he has to go to the vet. 
  • Blanket - Set aside a clean blanket to bring with you when you go for the surgical appointment. Wrap your dog in the blanket a few times to allow him to become familiar with the smell and feel of the blanket and know that it is okay for him to use it. This blanket can be a source of security for your dog if he becomes stressed or nervous and can give him a place to curl up and hide if needed. 
  • Clean, Comfortable Cushions - Wash your dog's bed cushions to make sure that he has a clean place to rest and recuperate when he comes home from surgery. If he needs some additional bedding, this would be a good time to buy him a new soft bed cushion. 
  • Dietary Preparation - If your dog will be given veterinary anesthesia, follow your vet's explicit directions to prepare your dog for surgery. It is customary to not feed your dog for 12 hours preceding veterinary surgery. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is allowed to have water during that time. Take some of your dog's regular food with you when you take your dog to the vet. This will help to calm him if he is fed something very familiar after surgery while at the veterinary clinic. 
  • Arrive Early - Even though your dog may not scheduled to have surgery until mid-morning or mid-afternoon, arrive early so that your veterinarian has ample time to take blood samples, x-rays, insert a catheter, and administer IV fluids. If possible, stay with your dog while he waits for his surgery to keep him calm and quiet. 
  • Remain Calm - Although you will probably be nervous or stressed before your dog's surgery, do not do anything out of the ordinary or speak to your dog any differently than you usually do. Dogs get to know their owners very well and can tell if you are nervous and you don't want to transfer any of your stress to your dog. Remain cool and calm for your dog's sake. 

These preparations can help to keep your dog clean and prepared for his upcoming veterinary surgery at a veterinary hospital. They can also help him heal faster if he has a clean, comfortable bed when he returns home. These details will keep both you and your dog calm and prepared during this time.