Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Safe boarding for your older or special needs dog.

Lonsdale Grove is the ideal place for your older or special needs small dog or cat

 With good veterinary care, quality foods, and focus on our dogs and cats as full-fledged members of the household, our pets are living longer and healthier lives.  Smaller dogs live generally longer lives than large breeds.  In many cases, toy dogs and cats are living well into their early 20s.  But just like their human companions, senior dogs and cats have a host of issues that they potentially have to deal with, and require a variety of accommodations and adaptations to keep them happy and comfortable well into their retirement.  A recent extended stay of a lovely senior canine couple in one of our larger senior suites highlights how Lonsdale Grove is ideally suited to care for special-needs, and senior canine and feline guests. 

There are many common health issues that develop in geriatric dogs and cats, and they tend to be very similar to our own older age issues.  A partial list would include:


Vision loss

Hearing loss

Changes in body weight: Obesity or weight loss


Dental disease

Intestinal issues

Kidney and liver issues

Bladder incontinence

Cognitive dysfunction


We recommend making more frequent wellness visits to your veterinarian once your pet is over the age of 10.  In a generally healthy senior pet, that may be every 6 months.  It will certainly be more frequent for seniors with specific health issues. 

While we care for our senior pet as part of the family, business and other trips often preclude bringing our older family members along.  Additionally, some trips that were fun for the whole family when our pet was young are just no longer safe for our older or special needs animal.  Lonsdale Grove is here to provide the best care possible to your senior small dog or cat while you are away. 

Senior dogs and cats enjoy a quiet and relaxing environment, without the chaos of large kennel operations typified by noisy pens and many large dogs of varying temperaments.  Seniors, and all guests at Lonsdale Grove, enjoy quiet private suites with in suite tvs and soft music to create a relaxing, calm environment. 

Older guests are particularly susceptible to illness, and the sealed-drain, private suites, and hospital quality air cleaning at Lonsdale Grove prevent the spread of illnesses that may be rampant in facilities with chain link pens in barns with open troughs for waste.  Our suites are cleaned with Virox Accel® accelerated hydrogen peroxide cleaning products that are used in hospitals and veterinary clinics to sanitize and sterilize.  These products have the advantage that they kill bacteria and viruses rapidly, but break down quickly to oxygen and water, and thus do not leave dangerous residue or chemical films on our fully-tiled suites that could sicken our guests. 

Senior dogs and cats tend to have more difficulty regulating their body temperature, are more susceptible to temperature extremes, and may have respiratory issues making poor air quality or high temperatures dangerous.  Lonsdale Grove is equipped with the best in climate and air quality control systems.  We will describe in a later post the details of our stellar air quality system, but for now we will point out that it filters and UV treats the air to ensure that pathogens and allergens are removed for the protection of your pet.  We feature heated floors and central air conditioning to always keep your pet comfortable and happy.  Our senior guests enjoy lounging on our heated floors in the cooler months and relaxing on them in air conditioned comfort in the summer.  We feature high quality low raised beds that are easy to step onto for arthritic dogs, and comfortable blankets for those with arthritis or other joint issues, and all guests to enjoy. 

We can have a private exercise time in our fully-fenced and grassed play yard for our older canine guests, to avoid the upset of playful young ones, which is a particular concern for our older guests who may be losing vision and hearing and find it startling for other dogs to sneak up on them.  Exercise time can be shorter and less stressful for senior dogs who may be less active due to osteoarthritis or other issues. 

Older cats and dogs often require special diets, supplements and/or medications to keep them healthy.  We provide high-quality grain-free dog foods, but we highly suggest that you use a senior dog food specific to your pet’s needs.  Your veterinarian can recommend a food for your animal, and we encourage you to bring their usual diet when staying at Lonsdale Grove to minimize upset stomachs, which can happen easily with older pets.  Your vet may also recommend supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, or vitamins such as C and E.  Be sure to consult your veterinarian before adding any supplement to your pet’s diet.  We will follow your regular feeding schedule and supplement and medication administration schedule for each animal that stays with us.  Please provide all supplements with clear instructions and each medication with complete veterinary dosage and administration instructions.  Older adults tend to do better when fed twice per day or are left with free food, rather than a once-per-day feeding schedule.  Our small facility allows us to provide individual attention to each animal and provide care specific to their needs and as close to their usual routine as possible.  This will help you avoid the stress of worrying about whether they are getting their medications on time and at the correct dose while you are away. 

The ASPCA has some helpful suggestions for caring for your older pet.  We at Lonsdale Grove are happy to provide a tour and discuss with you how we can make your senior pet’s stay a happy, safe and healthy vacation.  Visit our website and Facebook page for more information, or give us a call at (519) 648-3311.

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