Our senior furry family members play a wonderful role in our lives. They have grown with us and given us years of unconditional love and affection. Just as we do, senior dogs have to deal with changes to their health as they get older and it is our aim to help both you and your pet deal with these changes as they occur. We want your pets to grow old gracefully and be as healthy and pain-free for as long as possible.
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
Smaller breed dogs tend to age at a slower rate than their large and giant breeds counterparts. That being said, the changes that signal the onset of ageing generally begin to occur at around 6-8 years of age. Most veterinarians agree that dogs are considered to be senior or geriatric at 7 years of age.
What are the most common health issues experienced by senior dogs?
Older animals are more at risk for developing diseases such as thyroid disorders, liver problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, dental disease, muscle and/or joint problems such as arthritis, etc. Many of our pets hide the signs of sore or aching joints from us, and the only subtle sign of problems may be decreased activity, as shown by a reluctance to play, climb stairs or jump up onto furniture.
How should I care for my senior dog?
Since many of these age-related problems can be difficult to spot by the average owner until they are advanced, senior pets should visit the veterinarian more often. Annual checkups are considered to be the norm for adult cats and dogs, but once a pet becomes senior, twice-a-year checkups are advisable, so that we can look for subtle signs of problems before they become serious. Since dogs and cats age at a much faster rate than humans, visiting the veterinarian every six months would be the equivalent of visiting your doctor for a complete physical examination every 3 or 4 years!