What is the life expectancy of a dog?

It depends on their breed and their size. Larger dogs don't live as long as smaller dogs do, but the average life expectancy, in general, is about 12 years of age. Once your pet hits seven, at which point the first two-thirds of his life has passed, we consider him senior.

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

How can wellness care extend the life and vitality of my dog?

Wellness care is really important. First of all, we need to protect them from parasites and contagious diseases with vaccines and tests of their stool samples. In senior pets, in our practice, we will highly recommend that you let us draw enough blood to do a senior profile. All these machines here in my van run laboratory tests, check thyroid and blood chemistries, and blood counts. If we find anything that's not exactly right, we can usually help that situation by improving diets and supplements. So it's really easy to extend your dog's life with proper senior care.

What are the most common problems in senior dogs?

The number one cause of death in senior dogs is cancer. When we do senior screening, people always ask me, will this tell me if my dog has cancer? In fact, the answer is no, it's not. In the past, we've had to use advanced imaging, ultrasounds, x-rays, and those kinds of things to diagnose cancer in pets, but as of this month, there is a new nucleosome screening test that's relatively inexpensive. We can draw a simple blood sample from your pet during his wellness visit and send it into the laboratory and find out if we should be looking further for cancer in the dog. So cancer is the most common cause.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/NeighborhoodVets, https://www.instagram.com/neighborhoodvets

Dog Senior Care - FAQs

Dr. Larry Nieman
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care

Do I need to change my senior dog's feeding schedule?

Yes. Well, maybe. We will be talking about senior dogs today, and it's really important that you feed your dog a good diet. A good diet is what's called premium pet food. We recommend two different brands, Hills and Royal Canin, but there are many out there, and they're usually a little more expensive than the grocery store diets, but it needs to be made for senior dogs. It's really important to feed your dog of seven years of age or older a senior diet. It'll help maintain his body weight and muscle mass and help keep him a little bit more active. When we see senior pets in our practice, we usually do senior profiles. All this stuff in here is laboratory equipment, and we have x-rays, and in the back is dentistry and surgery. We can take care of anything your senior pet needs, but blood and urine tests yearly are really important. That way, we can use diets and supplements to increase their longevity because increasing your dog's longevity is our mission.

What activities and training can I do with my senior dog?

The most important thing with your senior dog is to keep a regular schedule. His muscle mass is, to a large extent, what will impact his longevity, so if he stays active and mobile during his senior years, it will increase his lifespan.

What are some things I can do to help extend the length of my dog's life?

The most important thing you can do is not let your senior dog get fat. When your dog is seen for annual visits by his veterinarian, the very first thing the veterinarian's going to do before he ever even touches your dog is doing a body score. He does that by touching your dog's ribs and feeling his waist in front of his hips and behind his ribcage. He will tell you what the dog's body score is from one to nine. Both four and five are normal body scores, and if you keep your dog in that normal range of four or five versus a six, we have scientific proof at this point that that will extend his life by a couple of years.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (913) 423-8375, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/NeighborhoodVets, https://www.instagram.com/neighborhoodvets

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