Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer than ever before. Senior pets require increased attention including more frequent visits to the vet, possible changes in diet and in some cases alterations to their home environment.
When does a dog become a senior?
It really depends on the individual dog. In general, larger breeds age faster than smaller breeds. A larger breed dog is considered to be senior by roughly 5-6 years old whereas a smaller breed dog would likely be considered a senior between the ages of 9-10 years. Genetics, nutrition, environment; can all have a factor in how your pet ages.
What are common senior dog health issues?
Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as cancer, heart disease, kidney/urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes, joint or bone disease, senility, weakness. We recommend having your senior pet examined every 6 months to help stay on top of their health as with most pets they don’t show signs of concern until it’s too late to treat. By having your pet checked frequently it can help detected these issues in the early stages improving the chances of treating.
How should I care for my senior dog?
Talk to your veterinarian about how to care for your older pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets require increased attention, including more frequent visits to the veterinarian ideally every 6 months, possible changes in diet, and in some cases alterations to their home environment.