What is a senior dog?
If your dog is over the age of seven, then they are considered a senior dog. On average, dogs age seven times faster than humans, meaning by the time your canine companion is nine years old, their organs, joints, and metabolism are comparative to a 63-year-old human. That’s almost retirement age!
Senior dogs have different needs to adult dogs and puppies, which include:
A dog’s muscle mass and organ function decrease as they get older, so a higher carbohydrate, lower protein diet is best for your senior sidekick.
More frequent check-ups
As animals age, their health status changes faster than their younger counterparts. Issues common in senior pets include arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, organ failure, hearing or vision loss, and tumours. More frequent health checks with your Greencross Vet will detect any issues early on, so your senior pet can live as long and happily as possible.
Modified exercise regime
Regular moderate exercise helps to maintain muscle mass and keep your senior pet’s joints mobile. They may not be as quick at fetch, but taking them on a suitably-paced walk or jog will keep them happy, healthy, and fighting fit.
Closer monitoring of skin and possible lumps
Keeping a keen eye on your senior pet for any lumps and bumps will ensure that possible cancers or tumours are treated as swiftly as possible. Cancer is more prevalent in ageing dogs, so ensure you monitor any changes in your pet.
Improved dental care
As pets age, their bone density and dental health can deteriorate. Special dental diets, teeth brushing, and dental treats are all great ways to prevent dental disease. However, if you do notice any changes in your pet’s teeth, gums, or breath as they get older, bring it up with your Greencross Vet. Regular dental health checks by your vet will catch anything you may have missed.
Of course, vaccinations, parasite prevention, proper diet, and regular check-ups at your Greencross Vet are all still important in your senior pet’s healthcare.
Senior pets may need a little bit of extra care, but we think their years of unconditional love make them so worth it!