Our dogs are special, they provide comfort, companionship, protection and love. However, like humans, they age. Unfortunately, they age much faster than we do and must recognize and prepare for this.
When does a dog become a senior?
Dogs become ‘senior’ when they become older than seven years. Senior dogs are in the stage of life in which the ageing process is beginning to affect every organ systems.
What are common senior dog health issues?
Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people such as cancer, heart disease, kidney and urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes. Lastly, joint or bone diseases such as arthritis, senility, anxiety, weakness.
How should I care for my senior dog?
Watch for any changes in your dog and speak to your veterinary team. Geriatric pets should have semi-annual veterinary visits, so signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated. The exam includes dental care, regular blood work to monitor organ function and weight management recommendations. It is also well recognized that the special moments spent with our dogs are equally beneficial to our own well-being. So walk your dog regularly, make sure he or she always has access to water, keep the light on in the evening, so they can better navigate with diminished vision and provide a comfortable place to rest. Stroke or pat your dog often and talk to him or her as your voice can be comforting.