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There are countless dog owners in the U.S., and still more dogs in need of loving homes. When a dog starts to age, some owners might leave them to a shelter or a home specifically designed to handle changes in older dogs. But a dog is a friend for life and most owners will take to caring for their senior pet throughout these latter years of their life. 

Dogs take commitment, and when it comes to caring for senior dogs you may need a little bit of help. Here are a few tips for caring for senior dogs. 

Check Your Pet Health Insurance 

Above all else, make sure you've got a good pet health insurance plan for your dog. Their breed, age, and past medical issues should all be taken into account and discussed with your veterinarian before you decide on an insurance plan. This should be done early in your dog's life so the policy still covers them in old age. 

Keep Up With a Nutritious Diet 

Pet owners in the U.S. spend billions on pet food annually, and much of it is geared towards nutritious diets for dogs of all ages. In order to choose the most nutritious diet possible for your dog, it's important you consult with your veterinarian. Depending on your dog's particular health issues and age, they will be able to help you discern what will be best in the long run for your four-legged friend. 

Keep Exercising 

Exercise is just as important later on in a dog's life as it is early in their life. Despite that, you should check with your vet first to ensure you're not too rigorous with the exercise. After all, the point is to keep your dog healthy and happy, not overexert them. 

Schedule Regular Wellness Checks 

Your dog may have to go to the vet more often later in life, and it's important that you keep up these visits to monitor your dog's current health and to take the appropriate steps to prepare for the future. Don't ever let a veterinary appointment fall to the wayside, especially if you're caring for an older dog. 

Your dog is your friend for life, so make sure you're taking the best care of them that you can.  Taking out a dog insurance policy can help.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.