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HomeLifestyleVeterinarian guides pet parents of aging dogs

Veterinarian guides pet parents of aging dogs

How swiftly time sails when you share your life with a dog! It seems they reach their twilight years all too suddenly. In her premier dog parenting book, It’s Never Long Enough: A Practical Guide to Caring for Your Geriatric Dog, renowned senior pet care veterinarian Dr. Mary Gardner shares how pet parents can foster their dog’s health and happiness throughout the precious grey-muzzle years, all while managing the pressures and savoring the rewards of caregiving. Her companion workbook, Geriatric Dog Health & Care Journal: A Complete Toolkit for the Geriatric Dog Caregiver further guides families in tracking their dog’s attitude, activities, behavior, medical care, and joys of life as they share their furry companion’s voyage through their marvelous elder years.

“Senior dogs harbor a lifetime of their family’s love and care, and their advancing years bring a distinct set of responsibilities, challenges, and emotional strains. Families juggle tasks that involve alleviating pain, meeting special nutritional needs, creating a senior-dog-friendly home, and cleaning up frequent messes—along with learning to recognize and successfully manage their own caregiver-related stresses,” Dr. Mary Gardner said. “Many pet parents struggle to manage their aging dog’s ailments, and they appreciate skilled support and specific guidance.”

Recommendations, clever tips

Packed with practical recommendations, clever tips, and handy tools—all delivered with a hearty dose of humor, lighthearted doodles, and heartwarming photographs—It’s Never Long Enough draws from over 15 years of Dr. Gardner’s veterinary visits with her grey muzzle dog patients and their families. The book also highlights new information in animal and human health related to aging, weaves in a lifetime of heartfelt tales about Dr. Gardner’s own elderly dogs, and answers the most common questions pet parents have posed about their senior companions throughout her career.

Dr. Gardner added, “I’ve had the honor of helping countless geriatric pets and their families one-on-one throughout my career, and I’m thrilled to reach more pet parents through my books. I’m devoted to helping families stay attuned to age-related changes in their pets, better understand their pet’s needs and illnesses, ease the delicate conversations they may have with their veterinarian about their senior pet’s care, and be better prepared for what may occur as the end of their beloved companion’s life approaches.”

Insights on caregivers, too

It’s Never Long Enough also offers insights on caregivers caring for themselves. Dr. Gardner noted, “Everyone varies in their abilities to care for their pets, especially as their older pet’s ailments mount. If families don’t know what can be done to help their elderly dog—and themselves—live better, they may be left feeling helpless. My hope is to guide pet parents in providing support that meshes with their goals of care for their aged tail-wagging family members.”

As a supplement to It’s Never Long Enough or as a stand-alone resource, Dr. Gardner created the companion workbook, Geriatric Dog Health & Care Journal. The thoughtfully and cheerfully designed journal pages, questionnaires, logs, lists, assessments, and other templates help pet caregivers document and organize essential information. It’s a handy tool to track a geriatric dog’s health status, medical care, and life quality, and to capture memories of the tender loving care pet parents share with their treasured silvered-muzzle companions.

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