For your best friend, middle age comes as early as age five. Follow these tips to lend them a hand as they get on in years.
Step 1: Get a vet with your pet Go for annual checkups with your veterinarian to make sure your dog stays healthy.
TIP: Large dogs live an average of 10 years while smaller dogs can live as long as 15 years.
Step 2: Keep him active As your dog gets older, exercise is more and more important. Set aside two 20-minute periods each day to take them for a walk or play fetch.
Step 3: Watch that weight Being overweight is a major problem for pets as well as people, leading to diabetes and other issues. Make sure your dog eats only once a day. Provide food with extra fiber.
TIP: If you can't feel your pet's ribs through their skin, chances are good they're overweight.
Step 4: Build a staircase to the bed If your dog sleeps in your bed but has trouble jumping onto the mattress, buy a carpeted pet staircase.
Step 5: Seeking medical attention Your furry friend can't tell you when they're hurting, so be on the lookout for these problems: lumps under the skin, shortness of breath, extreme thirst, poor appetite, and unexplained weight loss. See the vet if you notice any of these problems.
Step 6: Keep a deaf dog close Deafness can be a real problem as a dog ages. If your pet is hard-of-hearing, make sure to keep them on a leash when you are outside.
FACT: Bluey, an Australian sheepdog, lived to be 29.