When you have a dog over 7 years of age, generally they are considered a senior. Senior dogs, at first, are often not much different than "middle-aged" dogs. However, over time, you will begin to see that their demeanor and behaviors may change. What you do not necessarily see right away is that a senior dog's health needs change as well. In order to provide your senior dog with the best care possible, get to know a few senior dog care tips. These will help you and your dog continue to be happy together for years to come.
Take Them to the Vet Twice a Year
Most people only take their dogs in for veterinary services if they need shots or have a health crisis. However, there is much to be said for "well pet" visits. The best thing you can do for your senior dog is to take them to the vet twice a year for an exam and blood tests.
The exam will just be a simple once over (unless the vet finds something troublesome). The vet will check your dog's heart, ears, eyes, teeth, and body overall. The blood work will test the kidneys, liver, and cardiovascular system for issues.
Older dogs are prone to issues with their internal organs like the liver and kidneys. As such, regular blood tests can help detect problems early and get them treated more effectively.
Taking your dog to the vet twice a year may seem extreme, but the chances that your dog has a hidden health problem grow exponentially as they age. It is better to be proactive about their health than wait until the problem is bad enough to cause outward symptoms.
Get Them Regular Dental Care
Older dogs often also have issues with their teeth. They may not be able to chew as well and get food caught up in their gums and in their teeth, for example. Because older dogs are more likely to have dental problems, you should get them regular dental care as well.
The vet will check your dog's teeth at their regular visits. Ask your veterinarian if it is time for a dental cleaning for your dog. They will be able to tell you if this is necessary or not given the current state of your dog's teeth and gums.
Veterinary dental cleanings are done under general anesthesia. Sometimes, an older dog may not be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. The regular blood work you have done will determine that and can help you and the vet decide the best course of action in caring for your dog's teeth.
Sometimes, simply starting to brush your dog's teeth daily can be enough to help with senior dog dental problems they may be having. You and your veterinarian will work together to determine that.
Now that you know a few senior dog care tips to help you out, you can be sure to schedule their next veterinary appointment as soon as possible.
For more information, reach out to a company like Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.