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As dogs age, they're less able to cope with environmental stress or react quickly to outside stimuli. Most dogs are very good at hiding illness, so a disease can come as a surprise to many owners. At Rainbow Vet Hospital, we recommend seeing your senior dog every six months to ensure its continued good health and active lifestyle. Senior pet wellness begins with regular exams, as early diagnosis is the key to controlling and improving most conditions your pet will encounter as it ages.
Dogs can generally be considered seniors when they reach the age of seven, although it can come earlier with certain large and super-large breeds. Just like with humans, when dog's age they start to slow down and are more likely to develop certain physical problems. Dr. Metzger, our Burbank veterinarian, advises that this is the time when it's important to start bringing your dog into our office more often every year, so we can monitor it for early signs of any health problems.
As pets age, their immune systems become weaker and they become more likely to develop a host of physical problems and diseases. Some of the more common ones are:
Regular senior pet wellness exams, done every six months, are key to catching these problems in the early stages when they're the easiest to deal with.
Wellness exams are important for your senior dog's health, but you can play a big part in keeping it healthy, too. It's a good idea to monitor your pet for certain behaviors that might indicate a coming physical problem. Actions that are out of character can be a sign of your pet slowing down, or they can indicate a health problem. Watching your pet and talking with our veterinarian is the only way to know the difference.
Any changes in your dog's looks or behavior can be suspicious, but be especially careful to watch for:
Any of these can be a sign of something serious and should be a sign for you to contact our office.
In most cases, you can treat your senior dog the same way you have throughout its adult life. We may advise a change in food, and it's generally good to provide more frequent opportunities for your pet to go outside during the day, but keep its active lifestyle up as much as possible.
If your senior pet hasn't had a checkup in at least six months, it's time to bring it into our office. Call us at 818-846-1166 today to make an appointment.