If your dog is over the age of 8 you may be surprised to know that they are regarded as “senior”. The age creeps up quickly and this is the time when it is essential to take really good care of your dog. There are lots of ways to keep them healthier for longer and if they do need help there are new treatments available for dogs that can really make a difference to their quality of life.
Our top ten health tips has been prepared by Dane Walker MA VetMB GPCert(SAS). Dane is one our most senior vets who has over 16 years’ experience in veterinary medicine.
Know your dog’s habits and pay attention to changes
You know your dog better than anyone else and often spotting early changes in behaviour can alert us to a number of problems e.g. thyroid problems, stroke like episodes, pain, tumours and dementia. When you come and see us please discuss any changes and what they might indicate with a vet. We can also help you address home or environmental concerns that may be contributing to changes in your dog’s behaviour.
- One of the most common behavioural problems we see as dogs age is ‘dementia’ or cognitive behavioural syndrome as it is more properly called. Signs include random barking, anxiety, restlessness, confusion, disorientation or even aggression. The condition is nowhere near as bad as the human versions of dementia, but it is worth attending your vet for a check over.
- It is important to check that there is nothing else going on such as chronic pain from arthritis, dental disease, ear disease or a thyroid problem for example. There are many treatments including medications, supplements and diets – however there is nothing that is completely effective.
- Changes to routine and environment are also very important. The combination of the above should help to improve your dog’s quality of life.