Depending on the breed, your dog may be considered geriatric around the age of 6 or 7 years old. Surely, owners want to keep their older dogs happy and healthy as along as possible. Because older dogs confront a series of problems that younger dogs usually don’t have, owners and vets have to work together to care for an aging pet.
Older dogs confront an increased risk of senility, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, etc. Your best bet is to talk to your vet about how to prepare for the possibility of increased health issues as your dog ages. Geriatric pets should generally have semi-annual visits to the vet that may include blood work and dental care. For many dog breeds, weight control may be a concern, as weight gain increases the risk of several health problems.
Take care to note any changes in your dog, physically or behaviorally. Weight loss or weight gain, loss of appetite, blood in urine, weakness, and vomiting can be signs of some kind of health problem. Change in sleep cycles, increase anxiety, increased responsiveness to noises, and more can be signs of cognitive dysfunction.
When in doubt, check in with a vet. No matter what, love and enjoy your older dog!
“Senior Pet Care (FAQ).” American Veterinary Medical Association. February 2009. Web. 25 March 2014. https://www.avma.org/public/petcare/pages/caring-for-an-older-pet-FAQs.aspx