What Your Older Dog Wants You To Know From Your Montrose Veterinarian
Over the years, our Houston and Montrose, TX veterinary team has gotten to know some incredible pets and pet parents, and we've learned a thing or two working with animals enjoying their golden years.
We're Living Longer
Modern-day pets are considered a part of the family, a relatively new perspective compared a few decades ago. This means people are more willing to invest money and time into aging pets' health and do what they can to maximize both quality of life and length of life for their animals.
Additionally, the increased rate of spay and neuter procedures has also helped extend the life expectancy of animals, in some cases by a factor of 3-5 years!
When you welcome a dog into your home, you're welcoming a new family member into your life...for life. As a responsible pet parent, you must be prepared to give a loving home to your dog for upwards of 8-10 years, or even more in many cases.
Senior Life Stages
The age when a dog can be considered a "senior" tends to depend on its breed and size, with small dogs generally being seen as "seniors" around age 9, medium dogs around age 7, and large-breed dogs around age 5 or 6. Being aware of your dog's stage of life is important because certain screening and prevention measures will begin in an animal's senior years. This includes screenings for chronic health conditions like cancer, arthritis, and kidney disease.
In addition to size and breed, other factors which influence the rate at which your dog ages include lifestyle, nutrition, genetics, and environment.
Signs We’re Not Feeling Well
Unusual signs and behaviors (like lumps and bumps, difficulty walking, bad breath and body odor, increased thirst and urination, and lethargy) are not necessarily normal parts of aging. You know your animal best, so if you're concerned about her health, call our animal hospital.
Preventative Care with Your Montrose Veterinarian
Changes in an aging dog's health can happen more quickly compared to when your animal was younger. So, it's important to meet with a veterinarian in Montrose about every 6 months to ensure your senior canine has all the medications, tests, and nutritional/lifestyle changes needed to prevent, treat, or manage chronic health issues or age-related challenges.
Help Make Our Environment "Senior-Friendly"
In between those twice-per-year visits, you can help your older pet by making some "senior-friendly" changes around the home:
- Put rugs on wood and tile surfaces, including stairs, to avoid slipping and tripping
- Invest in ramps to help your dog get on/off furniture or in/out of a car
- Remember your senior dog is more sensitive to extreme weather (both hot and cold)
Schedule an Appointment with Your Montrose Veterinarian
At the Montrose Veterinary Clinic, serving Montrose, Houston, and other nearby Texas communities, our vet staff cares deeply about the well-being of every cat or dog who comes through our doors. If you'd like to schedule a senior pet wellness exam or would like to learn about the services we offer, including medically-supervised pet boarding and emergency vet care, then call our animal hospital today at (713) 524-3814.