Senior Akita Care
This section of the website is devoted to the care and understanding of our beloved Akitas once they reach their "Golden Years"
Living with a Senior Pet - How old is your pet?
|SMALL BREED||MEDIUM BREED||LARGE BREED|
|1 yr||15 yrs||15 yrs||15 yrs|
Dogs age much quicker than you and I. Their development from puberty to adulthood takes place over a period of 18-24 months (vs about 21 years in people). After that time, each year of a pet's life is equal to about 4 years of a human life (not 7 years as is commonly thought). The average life span of a dog is about 13 years (small to mid size dog).
To improve/maintain the quality of your older pet's life, it's important to recognize "aging" problems early and to manage these before they become bigger problems.
Senior pets are precious members of your family. Regular checkups, proper nutrition, grooming and exercise, and some minor home and environmental modifications or restrictions can help keep the senior pet healthy and safe for years to come.
A "baseline" blood and urine profile is highly recommended once your pet reaches the age of 7. This gives you an excellent baseline as to your pet's current health and serves as a benchmark for any changes that develop over the years.
Aging is influenced by your pet's:
- size and breed (smaller pets tend to live longer).
- environment (outdoor, free roaming pets are at greater risk of infectious disease and trauma like being hit by a car).
- nutritional status (obese pets have some significant health risks).
- disease status (diseases of vital organs like the heart, lung, kidney and liver are more common in the older pet as these organs are prone to wear and tear as they age).
BE PREPARED! The following questions will help you and your veterinarian provide the best care for your older pet. Check if your pet has experienced changes in:
- Hair coat (itchy, dandruff, dull, hair loss)
- Mobility (lameness, trouble with stairs, stiff, in pain)
- Breathing (coughing, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance)
- Digestion (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation)
- Senses (hearing, smelling or vision loss)
- Behavior (reduced family interaction, increased vocalization, loss of house training, etc.)
- Growths (new growths, changes in previous growths)