When it comes to family pets, dogs come to mind for many people. Of course, that should come as no surprise. There are 89.7 million dogs registered as pets in the US alone. Dogs come in a variety of breeds ranging from very small to very large. Dogs can also have very different needs from one breed to the next. Just like with humans, a dog's needs will also change as they age. As your dog enters into its senior years, you may find that there are a few things that you need to do differently. Here are three tips for caring for a senior dog.
Know What to Expect
The first thing that you should know is when your dog becomes a senior dog and what to expect as this happens. Lifespans for dogs are dependent on their size and their breed. Dogs are considered to be senior during the last 25 percent of their lives. Larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs. Around 38 percent of small breed dogs live to be over 10 years of age while only 13 percent of giant breed dogs live past 10 years. Knowing when your dog will become a senior and what health issues are common at this point is very important.
Keep Up With Vet Visits
As your dog enters into their senior years, your veterinarian will give you the information that you need in order to keep your dog healthy. As your dog ages they may need a special diet, medications, or other lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy. Visits to the veterinarian are recommended twice a year for older dogs. The average cost of a vet visit is right around $50. Regular visits will help you catch any health problems that your senior dog may be developing and ensure that they are treated as soon as possible.
Keep Their Quality of Life in Mind
Another tip for caring for a senior dog is to make sure that you consider their quality of life. You want to make sure that your dog is able to get enough exercise, stays at a healthy weight, and is in overall good condition as they enter into their senior years. If your dog is suffering due to age-related health issues, you may also want to consider pet euthanasia. Euthanasia costs between $50 and $100 at your vet's office and can help your dog pass away in comfort instead of in pain.
When it comes to caring for a senior dog, there are a few things to consider. First you should be aware of what age your dog becomes a senior and what health problems and changes tend to come along with this phase of their lives. Keeping up with visits to the vet is also key toward keeping your dog healthy. You should also keep your dog's quality of life in mind as they age. Contact a clinic, like Sepulveda Animal Hospital, for more help.