Senior dog care is simply another aspect of a dog’s health care program, just like weight or travel history. There are changes we can make for your dog’s senior years to be more comfortable for them and you. There are also conditions that we should monitor so you may have as many happy years with your dog as possible.
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
In general, a dog is considered to be a “senior” when they reach the age of 7 years. Size, breed, even lifestyle does alter this number somewhat.
What are the most common health issues experienced by senior dogs?
The majority of senior dogs will have joint disease; dental disease is also routinely seen in seniors. Both joint and dental issues can be treated to provide your dog comfort. Tumours will develop with ageing, so we monitor regularly for evidence of malignancy. Organ disease can be seen in older pets, but our goal is to monitor for early signs to address before organ failure occurs.
How should I care for my senior dog? (example: Schedule regular checkup, exercise, etc.)
Our hope is details of your senior care are being addressed before they reach that age. Annual examinations are a time when we are discussing preventative care ideas that should delay or prevent many senior conditions. As your dog grows older, we will review changes to diet (as in kidney disease) or supplements (as in joint disease) that may support health. We will also review wellness tests that may catch the disease before it becomes clinical (aka organ failure). We always want to try to make your dog’s care unique to them.