It's About Pets
Life Stages
SENIORS

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Caring For Your Senior Dog

According to a recent survey of veterinarians, 98 percent of veterinarians believe older dogs have different medical needs and would benefit from specialized services and testing.

That's why it's a good idea to establish a baseline that can be used as a benchmark for measuring changes before your dog reaches "senior" status. For example, ongoing blood and urine tests are especially beneficial at times, such as before surgery and before certain medications that require confirmation of normal liver, kidney, or heart function are prescribed.

Scheduling your senior pet for twice-a-year physical examinations is another important step since dogs age from five to seven years for every year of human life. Just as more frequent examinations and more extensive laboratory tests are a reality for middle-aged people, increased attention is important for disease detection in dogs reaching the seven-year mark. Ninety-one percent of the veterinarians responding to the survey stated they would be more likely to detect diseases earlier if their clients brought their dogs to the clinic for examinations more than once a year.

During these regular examinations, it's important that you report any health or behavior changes that you've noticed since the last visit. Throughout your dog's life, you are the best judge of changes taking place, and you are the veterinarian's most valued source of an accurate history profile.

Today's veterinarians have both the knowledge and the tools to help your older dog. In fact, 94 percent of veterinarians surveyed believe they have more tools now than ever before to help senior animals! By working with your veterinarian, you can help ensure that you and your dog will enjoy the best possible quality of life for the longest possible time.