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Care Recommendations for Your Senior Dog

Managing Your Older Pet’s Health

These suggestions will enable you to provide the best health care allowing your dog to live as long as possible.

Annual physical examination
A year between physical examinations for your dog is like four to seven years between annual examinations for us. Once your older pet begins to show signs of age-related illness, we recommend physical exams every six months.

Feed the highest quality food you can afford. Premium pet foods such as Science Diet Senior are formulated with less sodium and fat, and more fiber, than foods made for younger dogs. They are also more digestible and result in a healthier pet with less stool volume. Feed treats are made for older dogs as well. Most dog food treats are loaded with salt and fat, which are harmful to older pets. We recommend Science Diet Senior Treats or other low-salt biscuits. Middle-aged dogs are often too heavy, while dogs over the age of 12 may become too thin. Your dog’s dietary needs may change several times as he or she ages.

Read labels carefully for sodium, fiber, and fat content. Some brands of dog food marketed for older pets are not substantially different from regular pet foods.

Many older animals require specific prescription diets to help manage problems such as heart and kidney disease.