Useful Advice to a Senior Dog Owner

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The health of an elderly dog is vital to extend their life span. If you own an older pet, you need to be extra observant about signs that might indicate a health problem.

To keep your pet healthy:

  • Provide a good senior diet and regular exercise
  • Avoid letting the pet put too much weight on
  • Keep their teeth clean
  • See the vet for regular check-ups
  • Keep an animal and its environment clean and free of parasites
  • Treat illnesses quickly

Signs of diseases can include:

  • Increased thirst without a change in activity level, and increased urination can be signs of diabetes
  • Sudden loss of weight and/or appetite can be extremely serious
  • Increase in appetite without increase in weight, this may mean diabetes
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting; if lasting more than a day, can indicate many problems
  • Tiring more quickly can be a normal sign of ageing, but it can also be a sign of a disease affecting the heart
  • Coughing and panting may indicate heart disease
  • Difficulty in getting up from a lying position, or other problems with moving may indicate arthritis
  • Problems with vision and hearing

Behavioural changes that may need to be checked out by a vet can include:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Vocalising
  • Uncharacteristic aggression; this may be due to pain
  • Confusion, lack of attentiveness, disorientation
  • Roaming in circles, barking at nothing, being withdrawnsenior-dog
  • Toilet accidents

Diseases and sickness are more prevalent in senior pets rather than younger ones. Diabetes, cancer, arthritis and heart diseases are just some of the higher illnesses.

 

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