Our pets are living longer and healthier than before thanks to better healthcare and a focus on nutritional needs. One human year is equivalent to seven dog years. Due to this, substantial medical changes can occur in a seemingly short amount of time. Our team recommends semi-annual health exams for senior pets to be able to catch health concerns early and provide treatment and support as soon as possible.
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
It differs based on size. Smaller dogs typically live longer than bigger dogs. Smaller dogs are generally considered senior at 7-8 years of age, whereas larger and giant breed dogs may be considered senior at 5-7 years of age.
How should I care for my senior dog (example: schedule regular check-ups, exercise, special diet, etc.)?
Senior dogs should have semi-annual exams done. These exams can help with early detection and management of health concerns. In these exams, we may recommend blood work to monitor organ function and dental work to keep teeth and gums healthy. We then provide recommendations for dietary and exercise needs. Blood work can also help with early detection of poor organ function and disease. Regular dental cleanings can help deter gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Diet requirements also change for every life stage of your dog. As a senior, they should be fed a quality senior food. These diets are usually high in omega fatty acids and glucosamine chondroitin supplements, which help with joint function and arthritis. Exercise is also an essential part of a senior dog’s care. As dogs get older, just like humans, they move around less due to multiple factors. This can lead to weight gain. The extra weight carried can be very hard on your dog’s joints and may cause them to be even less inclined to exercise. If you keep your pet exercising regularly, you can help them stay at a healthy weight and maintain healthy joints and muscles.
Our team is dedicated to helping your senior pet age as gracefully as possible. Call the clinic today to book your senior pet in for a general health exam.