From Senior Setters To Elderly Elk-Hounds, Tips To Care For Older Dogs

Dogs are considered to be seniors when they reach around seven-years of age, and this is often when many pets develop common diseases and conditions that accompany getting older. If these issues go undetected, they can become debilitating, even life-threatening, which is why preventative veterinary care is key in maintaining the health of your older dog.

Some tips to care for your aging pet include:

Make appointments for routine check-ups. Don't wait until something is wrong to take your pet to their vet; consider making appointments for routine check-ups and wellness visits. This can go a long way in preventing conditions and issues that may be difficult to detect without medical intervention.

Advocate for your pet. Keep track of your dog's behaviors so that you will be able to speak and advocate for your pet when visiting the vet. This includes a record of what they have been eating, how they have been acting, and any changes in behavior that you notice. This will help the vet get a better picture of your pet's current health condition.

Plan on annual testing. One of the reasons that veterinary professionals advocate for annual check-ups is to conduct routine tests. These procedures include testing for heart worm and Lyme disease. Some additional options that owners may request to rule out future problems include urinalysis, hormone tests, electrocardiographs, and routine x-rays.

Don't underestimate the value of diet and exercise. Dogs need the right nutrients to support good health and well-being. Ask your vet about vitamin-enriched foods that can give your dog more energy, vitality, and that will ward-off weight gain. Make sure to notify your veterinary provider if you notice a difference in your pet's energy level or if they seem to have little-interest in physical activity.

Watch for the signs that something is wrong. You know your dog better than anyone, so speak up when you see something that is out-of-the-ordinary going on with your pet. No concern is invalid, and your vet will be able to evaluate your dog, rule out serious medical conditions, and order tests or treatment, if necessary, promptly.

Some signs that something could be wrong with your senior include:

  • Isolation or decrease in socialization.
  • Difficulty getting around, moving, or jumping.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Changes in sleep-pattern.
  • Excessive thirst or urination.
  • Tremors, shaking, or excessive scratching.

Use these tips to care for your dog throughout the lifespan, and as they age and become older. Your vet is your first point of defense in warding off age-related conditions and issues that can impact your pet's quality of life, so make regular appointments and contact your provider if your pet exhibits any signs or symptoms of an underlying problem.

For more information about improving your pet's health, contact a business such as Miramonte Veterinary Hospital.