Once your dog reaches seven years of age, he or she needs special care. At Timpanogos Animal Hospital, our goal is to help your older dog have a long and comfortable life. There are many things that you can do to help your dog maintain a high quality of life.
To Help Your Senior Pet…
- Feed your pet a high-quality diet formulated for senior dogs. Senior diets may reduce the chances of your pet becoming overweight or developing kidney or heart disease.
- Keep your dog’s weight at an acceptable level. Overweight animals are more likely to develop arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. This may mean feeding less food than you have in the past.
- Provide your dog with adequate exercise. This can help bones, joints, and muscles to remain healthy as well as keeping your pet trim.
- Have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. Approximately 85% of animals over the age of seven have periodontal disease. In addition to being painful, dental disease causes problems throughout your pet’s body. Bacteria from the mouth travel through the bloodstream, affecting the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs.
- Take care of your dog’s teeth at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth and using certain types of food can prevent serious dental problems from occurring.
- Make sure that your dog has a physical examination every 6 months. Our veterinarians can detect problems that your pet may be experiencing and offer solutions that will help.
- Have a panel of routine bloodwork and a complete urinalysis performed on your dog each year to monitor organ function and to rule out the possibility of a bladder infection. This will allow our veterinarians to catch problems before your animal becomes seriously ill.
Many older pets that appear to be “going downhill” or suffering from the effects of “old age” may in fact have conditions that can be easily controlled or treated. Recognizing the specific signs that your pet is displaying and seeking treatment can help pets feel better and may add years to their lives. Remember, old age is not a disease!