Dog owners should change their approach to care as dogs age
It might seem like your dog is going to be a playful ball of energy its whole life, but eventually things will slow down. It is important for pet owners to adjust their dogs' care as the animals grow old. In general, after a dog celebrates its sixth or seventh birthday, it is considered a mature or senior pet because it begins to experience the effects of aging, according to VCA. There are a number of things that pet owners need to keep in mind when it comes to caring for their aging canine companions.
Senior pets should be taken to the veterinarian at least twice each year for checkups to make sure they are aging healthily. Body weight should be monitored closely as weight gain is common in older pets as their dietary needs often change significantly with age. VCA states that if you notice clinical signs, such as a picky appetite, weight loss or gain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive urinating, drinking or panting or any other unusual changes in behavior or physical appearance, you should get them to the vet as soon as you can to catch any health problems early. You should also make sure that all of the are up-to-date, and many senior pet vaccines must be administered every few years.
The Santa Barbara Independent reports that pet owners should also be sure their senior canines are getting enough exercise. Going on more short walks can be better for pets with dog hip dysplasia or joint problems than fewer long walks.
These are just a few things that pet owners need to keep in mind as their dogs get older. They should talk to a veterinarian to find out what else they can do to provide the best care for their aging animals.