Heather Ridge Pet Hospital

5901 S. Remington Place Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

(605)371-1600

heatherridgepet.com

pet hospitalYour dog isn't just your pet -- she's your best friend and your companion for life. And even when your dog is old and gray, they will always be a puppy in your eyes. However, to make sure your pooch lives out the rest of their years as happy and healthy as possible, as your dog begins to age, it's important to adjust their lifestyle accordingly.

So what makes a dog a senior? Typically, this answer depends on the breed. Small dogs, for example, don't reach their proverbial senior years until they're 10 or 12 while large dogs may become a senior as early as five our six. But beyond breed, genetics, diet and environment play a large role on the lifespan of your pooch.

That being said, with the right amount of love and care, your pup can live out the rest of their days happy, healthy, and with the vigor of a younger dog. Check out these three tips for your senior dog:

Oral health matters
Dental hygiene becomes increasingly important as your dog ages. An estimated 80% of dogs begin to show signs of dental disease by the age of three, which can lead to loose teeth, chronic pain, and abscesses. Regular brushing and trips to the pet hospital for professional cleaning can ensure that your dog avoids expensive and painful dental disease and decay.

Make regular visits to your veterinary practice
Older dogs should visit your veterinary technician at your local pet hospital at least twice a year. Just like elderly people need to be more diligent regarding their health problems, aging dogs benefit from the same awareness and frequency of care. Quality veterinary care and routine preventive care for pets will ensure that your dog is healthy and free from health issues.

Keep your dog active
Even when your dog is older, they should be walked at least once a day. Encouraging your dog to remain active is crucial to both their health and wellbeing. Take your dog on short, gentle walks. Be sure to exercise their mind, too, with regular play with stimulating toys like food puzzles.