Senior Dog Care
Our senior dogs have earned a special place in our hearts – they have most likely been with us through many of our own life changes. They may be getting a little slower and a little grayer but their personality is still the same. Senior dogs like people undergo bodily changes that can make their life a little more complicated, hearing loss, joint disease, dental concerns are only a few of the issues that they can face. Our aim at Fairmont Animal Hospital is to help you deal with the gradual aging of your beloved friend. During their annual examinations we will discuss what to expect as they age and how to keep them as healthy as possible. We are available to discuss any important issues that may arise and to help you monitor their health and well-being. Remember ‘Seniors are Awesome.’
When is a dog considered a senior pet?
For large or giant breed dogs, they are considered senior pets at 5 or 6 years of age or older.
For our small or medium size dogs, they are considered senior pets at 7 years of age or older.
What are common senior dog issues?
- Arthritis: Just like people, as our pet’s age, they can develop degeneration changes in their joints (arthritis). This can lead to painful joints, which can decrease mobility and comfort.
- Weight gain: Over time, our pet’s metabolism can change and slow down. This can lead to weight gain, which can decrease mobility and joint health as well.
- Dental disease: This can happen at any point in a pet’s life, but it is especially important to take care of in their golden years. A buildup of tartar and gingivitis can lead to infections, damage to the jaw bones and a painful mouth.
- Behavioural changes: Over time, senior pets may display increased barking, appetite changes, drinking changes, and more or less affection towards their owners and other pets. This could indicate many things, including an underlying disease process, pain, blood pressure issues, or sometimes senility.
How should I care for my senior dog?
The biggest thing to do is to watch for any changes to your pet’s typical routine. Watch for mobility changes and changes in appetite, drinking, behaviour, and weight. This can help detect any underlying problems as early as possible.
A physical examination is recommended once to twice a year minimum, to ensure that any aging issues found are addressed. Bloodwork is an excellent way of screening our pet’s internal organs (liver, kidneys, protein levels, blood sugar levels, and more) to detect any underlying diseases earlier too.