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Tips for Adopting a Senior Dog

November 1, 2018

Did you know that November is Adopt A Senior Dog Month? This is one cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Older dogs often have a very hard time getting adopted. This is very sad, because they make great pets! They’re not only super cute, they’re also very calm and sweet. Plus, Fido will most likely already be trained. Here, a Hyattsville, MD vet discusses adopting senior dogs.


Before the big day, you’ll need to make a trip to the pet store. A comfy bed is a definite must. Orthopedic beds are a great option for older dogs, because they offer extra support. You may want to get pet ramps or stairs for Fido. This will make it easier for him to get in and out of the car, or climb on and off the beds and sofas, if he’s allowed. You’ll also need food, treats, some toys, a leash and harness or collar, grooming supplies, and a crate. We recommend getting some raised doggy dishes as well.

Helping Fido Settle In

If you have other pets, you may want to start Fido out in a quiet area of his own. This will give him a safe, cozy place to relax and settle in. Don’t be surprised if he sleeps a lot at first. Your dog may be sad or confused about being separated from his former owner. He may also need to recover from the stress of being in a shelter.

Veterinary Care

One of the first things on the agenda should be a trip to the vet. While most senior dogs are already fixed, you’ll need to make sure Fido is microchipped and current on his vaccinations and parasite control products. A thorough exam is also in order. While you’re there, get some professional advice on your dog’s diet, care, and activity needs.


You’ll need to do some petproofing. Remove potentially-dangerous items. We also recommend putting nightlights up to help Fido get around at night, and using baby gates to block off dangerous areas. Ask your vet for more information.


Senior dogs are typically very calm, which is one of the reasons they are such wonderful pets. Fido will still need some activity, however, even if it’s just a slow walk around the block.

Please call us, your Hyattsville, MD vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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