Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Feeding Senior and Mature Dogs

As your pet becomes a senior, their nutritional requirements will change. Although age is not a disease, senior dogs become more vulnerable to health conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, obesity, and cancers. Feeding a proper diet with the correct nutrients may help mitigate chronic conditions and certain diseases.

Once your dog reaches half their life expectancy, they are considered to be senior or mature. For large or giant breeds this is around 5-6 years of age, while in small breeds it is about 8-9 years of age. The nutrient profile of a mature dog will differ from that of a puppy and will be dependant on your dog’s size and overall health. When choosing a diet, be sure to discuss with your veterinarian and pay attention to three key principles: caloric intake, avoid nutrient excesses, ensure proper hydration, and provide an ideal ratio of fat, protein, phosphorus, and sodium. Also, their daily energy requirements may reduce 12-13%.

By controlling caloric intake with a less calorie dense food, we will help reduce the risk of obesity. Measuring food and dividing into 2-5 meals per day depending upon your schedule will help identify decreased or absent appetite early on which could signal underlying medical problems. Seniors are also more prone to dehydration, so access to fresh, clean water at all times is vital. A low fat (7-10% dry matter) with a high-quality protein (16-20% of dry matter) and limited phosphorus (0.30-0.70% dry matter) diet is best for a mature dog. Sodium should also be limited to 0.15-0.40% DM as excess sodium in the diet can be related to kidney disease, high blood pressure which can go unnoticed for a long time before clinical signs develop. It is important to include treats in the diet however they should be chosen to reflect nutrient balance. Some safe treats for senior dogs may consist of fresh or frozen green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce.

Written By: Briarwood Animal Hospital

Resource: LifeLearn

Category:

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Last updated: June 25, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 15, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Briarwood Animal Hospital