In caring for your senior dog it is important to realize that being old is not a disease. It’s essential to have senior dogs visit their veterinarian every 6 months. Dogs age approximately 7 years to our 1, so every 6 months is roughly equivalent to 3 1/2 years to human aging. Dogs become seniors differently based on size. A mastiff may be considered a senior at age 5 due to a shorter life expectancy of age 10-11. A miniature poodle would be a senior at age 8, since they can live well into their late teens.
A senior veterinary visit should include the following:
- Thorough physical exam – nose to tail and everything in between
- Lab work to include blood, urine, and fecal exam
- Possible x-ray if mobility issues present
- Eye exam – especially in small breeds prone to eye disease
- Discuss diet and any appetite changes
- Review medications
- Share with your veterinarian any changes you are seeing in your pet
When caring for your senior dog, prevention is key. Dogs are living longer with good preventative care such as healthy diet, exercise, regular vet visits and an abundance of TLC from their loving owners.
Heather Muller, Bob’s House for Dogs Medical Coordinator