If you have an older dog, monitoring their health must be a priority. Ensuring that your dog lives out their senior years happy and well cared for will involve keeping up on regular vet visits. Here are four reasons regular vet checkups should be a part of your senior dog's routine.
1. Assess Behavioral Changes
If your dog seems to be acting out, is aggressive, or has been having accidents inside the house, this might have something to do with aging. A vet, such as Animal House Veterinary Hospital, can assess your dog's behavioral changes and determine if there is something neurological going on, or possibly something physical, such as loss of sight. Your vet can work with you to make things easier for your dog at home and get to the root of the problem.
2. Catch Rapid Health Changes
If you are able to keep up on yearly vet visits for your dog, your vet will be able to track any major changes in your dog's weight, overall physical state, or changes in energy levels. Your vet can then work to diagnose what might be causing your dog to have rapid changes and help to make your dog comfortable. If you are worried that your dog might be sick or if you notice any drastic physical changes, get your dog to the emergency vet to assess.
3. Discuss Old Dog Care
Not all dogs will benefit from the same lifestyle, and your older dog might need to change up their exercise habits or type of food. It is easy to get into a routine and there might be some things you can do to tweak your dog's diet and activity. Your vet might recommend food specifically designed for older dogs or recommend more walks or less roughhousing with younger dogs at the park.
4. Saying Goodbye
Discussing end of life options for your beloved dog can be hard, but this will prepare you to when it's time to say goodbye to your friend. Older dogs may get to the point where their quality of life has deteriorated to the point that owners must make the hard decision to put down their dog. Veterinarians can help discuss options such as timing and if you would like your dog to pass at home.
Helping your dog navigate their later years can help them lead a long, happy life. Your veterinarian should be a part of this process and can help prolong your dog's life, make them comfortable, and help with end of life care. Be there for your dog when they need you the most and make sure their health is monitored closely as they age.