Caring for your senior dog

As with humans, senior dogs change as they age. Unfortunately for dog lovers, it seems to happen way too fast! One way a dog may be considered to be geriatric is based on weight. Dogs who are 50 pounds and over are considered to be in the geriatric range at the age of 7 years. Dogs 20-50 pounds are thought to be geriatric at 9 years of age and small dogs of less than twenty pounds at 10 years of age. There are several factors to consider in caring for your aging dog.

  • Exercise is still important but may need to be less vigorous than when your dog was young
  • Provide more bathroom breaks due to aging bladders and more frequent urination need
  • Use of non-skid runners and area rugs will help unsteady dogs on hardwood floors
  • Climbing ramps for stairs or getting up on a bed may make getting from one place to another easier
  • Food should be easy to digest and of fewer calories than when your dog was younger
  • Visit your vet twice per year and watch for changes that may signal the need for a visit including eating and drinking habits, wounds that are not healing, unusual or sore lumps, and lethargy
  • Dogs with hearing loss need to be monitored for their safety and those with vision loss may benefit from surgery

Enjoy your dog in his golden years!

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