Dogs are considered seniors at the age of seven. At this time the ageing process begins to affect multiple body organs and systems, and special consideration should be made in caring for our senior pets. It is important that our senior dogs have bi-annual to annual veterinary visits. Going to the veterinarian once a year for a senior animal is like us going to the doctors once every 4 years. More frequent veterinary visits can help to diagnose earlier diseases of ageing such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, and diabetes and help ensure our pets live a quality of life in their later years. It is recommended to have their blood and urine tested once a year to help with the detection of such diseases.
Exercise is essential for senior dogs, and ensuring our pets comfort is key. More frequent short walks are good to keep our senior dogs active but not overexert them. As well, swimming is an excellent activity for older dogs because it is low-impact and easy on their weakening joints and muscles. Swimming can also help to build strength and can be relaxing and comforting for dogs. It is also important to keep our senior dog’s nails trimmed to enable easier mobility. Providing joint supplementation is also a great idea and can help relieve pain due to arthritis and other abnormalities.
Our veterinarians can help evaluate and create a plan to ensure our loving companions have happy and healthy golden years of life.
Written By: Briarwood Animal Hospital