Golden Retrievers start their geriatric period at about 8 years of age. Even if your golden still acts like an adorable puppy when he is past that age – please still take some extra steps to protect his health.
Besides his checkup once a year, what else can you do to prolong his life and keep him healthy longer?
Here are a few tips:
Keep his weight down
Obesity is incredibly dangerous for all dogs, but especially seniors. Even an extra 5 pounds puts added stress on older bones and joints. If your dog is overweight consider changing to a high-fiber and low-fat, but consult your vet first.
About 85 percent of dogs over the age of 6 have some form of periodontal disease, which is an infection in the deep portions of the teeth and gums. If the infection is not treated it can attack his vital organs, resulting in heart, respiratory, kidney, or liver disease.
Keep your dog moving
Exercise is important at every life stage, but it is especially important for the senior dog. Geriatric exercise should be tailored to fit your dog’s age and physical condition.
Also, it’s important to always be conscious of your dog’s mobility. If your dog is stiff in the morning or after heavy exercise, he may have arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Your vet should examine him and perhaps take x-rays and prescribe medication to reduce inflammation and ease pain. If steroids are prescribed, ask about side effects and watch for them.
Be on the lookout fo lumps and bumps
It’s important to recognize changes like lumps or bumps on your dog early, one way to do that is to feel his entire body for lumps and bumps while you are petting him. Although skin masses like cysts, warts, and fatty tumors are common in older dogs, you should always have your vet inspect any new growths you find.
Their skin and coat are important as well
Try to brush his coat more frequently, that will help stimulate his oil glands and decrease the extra shedding. After consultations with your vet you can also add a nutritional supplement to add lubrication to his skin. Senior foods are low in fat and can contribute to dry skin and coat.