An ounce of prevention goes A LONG way for our aging dogs here are a few simple preventative steps that each of you can take to help reduce injury and illness over time in your dogs.

1. Keep your senior dog at its appropriate or ideal weight.

Every extra pound counts against their best interest. The number 2 disease we see in dogs is obesity. Being overweight has been shown to decrease life expectancy by years. According to the AVMA "New research with data provided by Banfield Pet Hospital found that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to 2 1/2 years shorter, on average than the lifespan of dogs with a healthy body weight."

2. Incorporate daily physical activity at home.

This looks different for every dog based on their current health status. A few sprints around the backyard do not exercise. Our dogs need daily walks, mental and physical stimulation along with your love and care. Low-impact activities like walks, swimming, or controlled hikes can have a lasting impact on their overall health and happiness. If your dog is currently overweight remember to start off slow and work for a gradual weight loss. A plan can be established with the help of your veterinary team.

3. Keep up with your dog's checkups and routine lab work.

Lab work can be the best tool to monitor changes in our senior dogs. Sometimes the lab work may show changes before even the most dedicated owners see symptoms at home. Routine lab work can show trends and allow veterinarians to offer simple changes early in disease processes to slow down the progression in some cases. Regular 6-month checkups can also help stay ahead of changes and be more proactive to slow the progression of age-related diseases.

These few simple steps can make a huge difference in your pet's comfort and happiness. These things can be done at any age and be continued long term with dedicated pet owners like you our seniors are sure to have their best golden years ahead.


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