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As a dog ages into their senior years, their behaviors and physical needs change. To make sure dogs have the best quality of life as they age, pet parents will need to provide their dog with additional support.
The following information will help pet parents learn about common degenerative dog conditions and how to help their dog.
The most effective way for pet parents to catch any health issues early is by creating and implementing a home health evaluation and care routine. Pet parents can create this routine on their own or with guidance from their vet.
A home health evaluation is a list of observations the pet parent should document each day. The list can contain items such as:
Activity and mobility
Additionally, the pet parent should examine the following body parts and note any concerns:
If the pet parent develops this routine consciously observes their dog, then they’re more likely to catch a potential health problem before it's too late.
Senior dogs tend to develop many of the same degenerative health conditions as humans. However, a degenerative diagnosis doesn’t mean the dog cannot have a good quality of life for many additional years. The following list contains a few of the most common degenerative conditions for senior dogs:
Heart, Kidney, and Liver Diseases
Pet parents can make adjustments around their home to make their senior dog more comfortable. For example, if the dog begins to lose their sight, pet parents can make sure the home is clean and the furniture is arranged to make easy walkways to the dog’s favorite areas.
A joint supplement can help promote good joint health for dogs. Many dogs develop arthritis in their adult and senior years. Some dog breeds have a predisposition to joint problems. A joint supplement can be added to the dog’s diet early in adulthood to help slow the development of arthritis.
As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. If they aren’t fed a balanced and complete diet, their bodies will lack the essential nutrients needed to promote good health. Nutritional needs are different for every dog and are determined by several factors, including:
Dog’s nutritional needs require more than food. The number one most important essential nutrient is water. Pet parents need to provide their dogs with fresh water each day. Also, the dog’s food and water bowls should be regularly washed. Harmful bacteria can develop in food and water bowls that aren’t cleaned.
Pet parents can keep their dogs healthy and happy for many years by providing quality care. For additional dog advice and help creating a health evaluation, pet parents can use Fuzzy Vet Chat to speak to a licensed vet 24/7.