Helping Your Dog Enjoy His or Her Golden Years
Dogs age faster than we do. While most dogs are considered senior around age 7, each pet is different. Regular visits with your veterinarian will allow us to monitor your dog's aging process, and diagnostic testing will properly determine when your pet reaches this golden phase of life.
You may start to notice changes in your dog as he or she ages, such as changes in activity level, appetite, vision, or hearing loss. It is important to inform your veterinarian of such changes so we can further investigate to determine if these are signs of a more serious medical condition. In order to properly monitor your dog's health, changes will be made to their veterinary care, including:
- Wellness exams—Up until now, annual wellness exams have been sufficient to meet the needs of your dog. As he or she enters the golden years, our veterinarians recommend your pet receive bi-annual wellness exams, including complete physical and dental examinations. This can allow conditions such as dental disease, osteoarthritis, and heart disease to be identified early on so effective treatment can be started.
- Diagnostic testing—In addition to more frequent wellness exams, your dog's veterinarian will also order bi-annual comprehensive blood screening and other diagnostic tests. This testing will allow us to note changes in levels or baselines established throughout your pet's life.
Senior Dog Wellness Plan
In order to help ensure all your dog's needs are met, we developed a Senor Dog Wellness Plan. This plan includes all recommended preventive and routine care items, which will help your dog continues to lead a healthy and happy life at a cost savings for you.
- Unlimited examinations/office visits
- All vaccinations recommended by veterinarian
- Intestinal parasite screen (up to two)
- Intestinal parasite deworming (up to two)
- Annual heartworm test
- Senior screen(including chemistry profile, thyroid level, complete blood count, and electrolytes)
- Complete blood count and chemistry profile
- Urine analysis (up to two)
- Blood pressure screen (up to two)
- Year-round flea and heartworm preventive
- Minimum annual savings of $283
Senior Dog Nutrition
As your dog ages, he or she may start to experience medical or dental problems. Additional need for supplements, nutrients, or softer food may all require dietary changes. Our staff is trained in nutritional counseling and will be happy to assist you in finding a food that meets your dog's needs.
Keeping Your Senior Dog Comfortable
There are simple changes you can make around your home to make life more comfortable for your senior dog, including:
- Keep them warm—As your dog ages, he or she may have a harder time maintaining body temperature. Providing extra blankets, towels, or a sweater will assist your pet in staying warm.
- Slip-proof surfaces—Especially for larger dogs, this helps prevent orthopedic injuries. Using non-skid rugs in high traffic areas is one simple method.
- Easy access—Make sure your pet's bed and food are close to the ground and easily accessible, as he or she may have a harder time moving around. In addition, a soft and comfortable bed will help ensure your dog gets a good night's sleep.
- Stairs—If your dog is allowed up on the furniture or on your bed, consider providing steps for him or her to use, as jumping may become more and more difficult.