The great news is that with advances in medicine and a more proactive approach to wellness care, regular exams, testing for early detection of diseases, targeted nutrition plans and a commitment to dental health care, pets are living longer and longer! We strongly believe that age is not a disease. We are committed to advocating for quality and quantity when it comes to the lives of our senior dogs.
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
The time when a dog moves from adult to senior depends primarily on the breed of the dog. Larger breeds age faster and therefore have a shorter lifespan. Giant breeds such as the Great Dane are considered senior by 5 years of age. Most dogs are thought to be entering their golden years around age 7 with some studies now moving toy breeds to senior status at 10 years of age.
What are the most common health issues experienced by senior dogs?
Aside from the diseases facing even younger pets, like arthritis and dental disease, senior dogs can be prone to liver, kidney and heart disease, vision and hearing loss, endocrine disorders (e.g. hypothyroidism) and cognitive dysfunction.
How should I care for my senior dog (example: schedule regular check-ups, exercise, special diet, etc.)?
On average, 1 year in our life is like 7 years in a dog’s life. We recommend that senior pets be seen every 6 months for a complete physical exam. Additionally, wellness testing (blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays as per your vet’s recommendation) done annually allows us to assess your dog’s internal health for signs of disease development. Regular exams and wellness testing mean we will catch diseases earlier on in their development stage. This will allow us to slow down the progression of a disease and provide your dog with a longer and healthier life.
A quality senior dog diet, coupled with an appropriate exercise plan, helps seniors to keep excess body weight off and lessen the impact of some diseases such as arthritis. Additionally, physical and mental stimulation such as exercise and puzzle games can be very beneficial to the cognitive functioning in older dogs.