My dog loves to go on long walks with me, but it’s getting older and I think it is considered to be a senior at this point. Is there anything I should be more aware of now?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
You are good to be mindful of your aging dog. We are said to be as young as we feel, but it’s difficult to know precisely how our dogs are feeling. Animals will often try to mask their aches and pains; it’s a survival tactic they use in the wild to prevent them from attracting predators.
Dogs, just like humans, need special care once they become seniors. Generally, dogs are considered to be in the senior stage of life at 7 years old, but ages will vary depending on the breed. The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to help you make your dog’s golden years happy and healthy:
1. Pay attention to change. Older dogs have predictable routines and behaviors, so any change in your pet’s behavior, activity, weight, or eating and bathroom habits could be a sign that something is wrong. Be observant of any changes and go see your veterinarian to rule out any developing conditions.
2. Schedule twice-yearly wellness visits with your dog’s vet. Since dogs age faster than humans, early detection of age-related problems is key to keeping your senior dog happy and healthy. Have your elderly dog examined by your veterinarian every six months. These regular exams will help you catch any age-related illnesses before they become too advanced.
3. Make your home senior-friendly. As dogs age, they can become less agile. Smaller dogs may have trouble jumping onto or off of furniture, and larger dogs may have trouble getting in and out of cars. Set up carpet-lined steps or a ramp to help your dog do the simple things it used to do in a safe and comfortable way.