Grooming Senior Pets
Geriatric dogs have their own set of problems. We work to help them in their elderly years. In general, with a very old dog, I would clip off the coat; rather than de-mat, as this precious pet has had many years of being beautiful, now it is time to be comfortable.
Due to mental impairment, blindness or hearing difficulties, the geriatric pet may be confused. I speak to them at all times before touching them so I don't startle them. An old dog will produce a feeble bark when they are confused. Blind dogs are spoken to at all times so they can locate me, and to reassure them.
Arthritis is a roughening of the joint ends, which cause pain on movement. Some older animals may have suffered from Hip Dysplasia from their youth, which may now cause more problems in old age. When grooming this type of animal, it may cry out in pain or bite when the joint is handled; therefore I handle all geriatric pets as if they have arthritis. I move very slow and careful when working on an elderly pet in order to make them more comfortable and prevent injuries .
As your dog ages the skin becomes thinner making it more prone to damage; therefore a more gentle technique should be adopted when grooming them. A brush that is gentle or comb is used to prevent damaging their tender skin. Warts can easily be caught by a brush or comb. I have a special card with a diagram of a dog that I fill out with you to mark areas to pay extra attention to. Sometimes owners do not notice lumps and bumps especially on a hairy animal. I will notify you if I find anything that I'm concerned about, that you may not be aware of so you can make a visit to your vet.
Because the pasterns drop when the animal gets older the feet become longer and consequently the nails are not in contact with the ground to wear them down. The dog needs to have its nails cut regularly to prevent ingrown claws. Please come in for nail trims between appointments. Nail Trimming should be done at least every four weeks on all pets, not just seniors.
If at anytime your precious pet becomes stressed, I will stop immediately and give them a break. Since my shop is by appointment only, it allows me to allocate more time in a peaceful environment to help eliminate your pets stress level during the groom.