Keep Up Your Older Dog's Appearance
A well-groomed dog is a happy dog, regardless of age.
- Maintain your dog's good health and appearance with regular nail, dental, ear, and skin grooming.
- Brush your dog frequently. Not only will it keep its coat in better shape, the brushing will be relaxing for both of you.
- Continue to give your dog regular baths. Just be sure to dry your dog off thoroughly so it doesn't get chilled.
- Keep your dog free from fleas and ticks by applying a topical flea-and-tick preventative every month and maintaining a clean environment.
See the Vet for Regular Exams
Find a vet you trust, and then let this medical professional help preserve and even improve your dog's golden years with regular medical exams. The vet will check for vision and hearing loss, as well as heart disease, and take blood to monitor the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
It's also important to take care of your dog's dental health. Many vets recommend that you brush your dog's teeth every day. Your vet will let you know if your dog needs to have its teeth professionally cleaned.
Editor's Tip: No one knows your dog better than you do. Educate yourself about health problems that affect senior canines. You might notice symptoms in between appointments that should be brought to your vet's attention.
Watch for Warning Signs
Keep in mind that the health problems experienced by senior dogs will vary based on the breed, size, weight, activity level, and quality of care. Watch for these signs and symptoms while remembering that they don't always mean your dog has a serious condition. Let your dog be examined by a vet to get a professional diagnosis.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Increased thirst and urination
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Increased thirst or incontinence
- Lumps, bumps, or growths
- Unusual discharge from the nose, eyes, or other body openings
- Bad breath
- Changes in coat quality
- Weakness, lameness, difficulty rising, or change in activity level
- Abnormally colored gums
- Behavior changes such as aggressiveness, extreme lethargy, or confusion
- Cloudy eyes