As your dog ages and becomes a senior, you want to do everything you can to ensure their health and comfort. Taking care of them in a proactive and preventative way can help make their golden years some of the best years yet. Senior wellness exams are an important aspect of veterinary care for aging dogs. Here are three reasons to take advantage of these special checkups for senior dogs:
Senior Wellness Exams Are More Thorough
Small dogs are considered a senior at around 10 years of age, and larger dogs are considered seniors even earlier. Once your dog is a senior, you will want to schedule senior wellness exams instead of just their regular annual checkup. Since older dogs are more prone to health problems and don't recover from illness as easily as their young counterparts, these exams are designed to be especially thorough.
Senior wellness exams typically include a physical exam as well as bloodwork and urinalysis. This combination makes it much easier to catch conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease early on when they're still relatively easy to treat.
Senior Wellness Exams Catch Hidden Problems
In some cases, your older pup may seem spry and healthy but actually be suffering from a hidden health condition or disease. Oftentimes, illnesses have subtle symptoms or no symptoms at all, especially early on.
For example, your dog could be beginning to lose their eyesight or hearing, but not dramatically enough yet for it to be noticeable. Or they may have thyroid problems or even high blood pressure. The thorough nature of senior wellness exams means these conditions can be discovered and treated.
Senior Wellness Exams Help You Monitor Your Dog's Weight
Senior dogs tend to have less energy, which can mean shorter walks and less playing. This can easily lead to weight gain, which in turn can trigger other health problems as well as joint pain. Since weight gain in senior dogs often happens gradually, regular senior wellness exams are a great way to keep an eye on your dog's weight.
If your dog does need to lose weight, your vet will recommend a diet change as well as age-appropriate exercise to shed some pounds.
Depending on your dog's age and needs, your vet may suggest annual senior wellness exams or more frequent visits. You will gain peace of mind knowing that your elderly pup is still in good health with the help of your veterinarian.