Answering Questions About Caring for Older Dogs

Your dog has given you years of love, and when he or she becomes older, your pup will need some special care in return. Dogs can live long, healthy, happy lives with age-appropriate care and treatments for any medical conditions that they develop. As your dog ages, your veterinarian may recommend more frequent checkups to identify any health problems that do develop in their earliest stages. Here are the answers to questions that dog families frequently have about keeping their beloved pooches happy and healthy during their golden years.

When is a dog considered to be old?

Aging varies depending on breed and size, with larger dogs usually aging faster than smaller ones. Small to medium dogs are usually considered to be seniors when they reach age seven. Large dogs are considered to be senior by age six. There is no accurate formula that determines a dog’s age in human years, but when dogs reach age six to seven, they have aged roughly as much as a human in his or her late 40s or early 50s.

What health problems are common in older pets?

The common health problems in older dogs are very similar to kinds of health problems that people experience as they age. They include:

  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weakness
  • Senility

Your veterinarian can tell you about any breed-specific health risks that your dog may face that you should be vigilant about spotting.

How can I help my older dog stay healthy?

The best thing you can do for your aging dog is see the veterinarian regularly for preventive care and checkups. Health problems are easier to treat when they diagnosed in their early stages, and regular visits to the animal clinic make early diagnosis possible. Maintaining dog dental care as recommended by your vet is helpful, as is keeping your dog active and feeding him or her a healthy diet.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help your dog stay healthy and happy throughout his or her senior years, thanks to our preventive care, on-site diagnostics, and our Life-Cycle Wellness Program. To make an appointment at our pet hospital in Dallas, please call (972) 239-1309. For the McKinney Office, please call (972) 529-5033.

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