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Changes in medicine and technology are making it possible for our dogs to live longer, healthier lives. This is good news in that many pet owners will have their beloved companions with them well into their dogs’ golden years. As your dog ages, his needs will also change. You will want to keep a close eye on your dog as he enters his senior years to monitor him for various changes in behavior and activity. Basic changes in your dog’s exercise, diet, environment, and routines will also become necessary to give your senior dog the most comfortable and happy life with you.
Senior dogs require extra attention. Changes in behavior, appetite, or routines may signal a possible health issue that you will want to discuss with your veterinarian. Below are common health issues that can develop in your senior dog. Arthritis or other degenerative diseases may cause your dog to slow down and have difficulty with mobility. You may notice your pooch cannot walk as far as he used to, or he cannot play as long as he did in the past.
You can prevent some potential issues by following some common-sense steps to keep your pooch in good shape.
Remember to start slowly and build your dog's stamina. Begin with regular walks and light jogs if your dog can jog. Gradually increase the length of walks or jogs as he can tolerate them. Talk to your vet about an appropriate exercise regimen for your dog.
You may also put carpets and rugs on slippery floors to help him get his footing. Place soft padding on hard surfaces and dog beds. It is a good idea to set up sleeping areas for your pooch that don’t require him to take the stairs.
In senior dogs, any of the following symptoms could indicate an underlying condition that needs to be addressed:
If you notice any changes in your dog, have him seen by your veterinarian between regular visits. Early diagnosis of any illness will provide the best chance for treatment. Having an active dog insurance policy can help with this.
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.