You love your dog and want the very best for him. Your canine family member relies on you to keep him healthy and safe throughout his lifetime. When dogs get older, their needs change and it's important to choose food, health and a lifestyle that is appropriate for your pet's age.
The following are frequently asked questions about senior dogs and senior dog care.
Much depends on the size of your pet. Typically smaller dogs have a longer lifespan than larger breeds. For example, a seven-year-old small dog would be considered between 44 to 47 years of age, while a large dog at seven years old would be considered 50 to 56 years of age. It is safe to say that by the time your dog is ten years old, regardless of breed, he is a senior. Very large breeds such as Great Danes or Saint Bernard's would be considered seniors as young as six human years of age.
Just like humans, dogs age and their bodies and minds change. You'll see many of the same problems in older dogs as you would see in older humans. Some common issues include:
Many of these problems can be prevented or minimized with excellent diet and health care.
A healthy diet, exercise and regular checkups at the veterinarian are great ways to ensure your dog stays healthy well into old age. It's important when your dog becomes older that you find a good vet for senior pets and that you schedule visits more frequently. This will help you catch any problems quickly so they can be addressed. Preventing obesity and tooth decay are two major considerations as well as keeping your older dog active. Your senior dog has different nutritional needs than she did when she was younger, so you'll need to modify her diet. Also, most dogs need less food as they get older.
Yes. Your senior dog can struggle with senility and depression. You can prevent or reduce this by keeping your pet stimulated with lots of activity and attention. Dogs who spend a great deal of time alone in a non-stimulating environment are more susceptible. If your pet is exhibiting signs of depression, confusion or other odd behavioral issues, contact your veterinarian.
To learn more about caring for your senior pet, contact Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic at (770) 479-1905 and schedule an appointment. We are happily accepting new clients at our friendly clinic. If you are looking for a new vet for your senior pets, we have you covered. We are also a feline-friendly facility.