Pet Talk - Caring for aging pets

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas A&M Vet School is helping keep dogs healthier for longer. This week on Pet Talk, we're talking about the signs of aging and how to care for senior dogs.

"We first wanted to mention that we have dogs of all different sizes, so dogs are considered seniors at different ages," said Harmony Peraza with the A&M Vet School. Larger dogs are considered senior at age six or seven and for smaller dogs, the threshold is closer to nine or ten.

There are several signs that a dog is aging including arthritis, loss in hearing or vision and discoloration in the mouth or gums.

Arthritis - "Aging doesn't have to be uncomfortable," Peraza said. In addition to providing comfortable spaces for the pet to rest, it's also important to consult with veterinarians.

Loss of hearing - As a dog ages, you might notice them become slower answer your calls. Peraza says this doesn't mean they are ignoring you, it's possible they are just having a harder time hearing.

Loss of vision - "Dogs that go blind or lose some of their vision can lead perfectly functional lives." In this case, Peraza recommends that you try not to change the placement of furniture in the house, so as not to confuse the dog.

Internal organ function - Peraza says some common internal organ issues occur in the heart or kidney. "A good way to keep those in good order is to try and keep your pet's teeth clean. Whenever we see a red gum-line or tartar on the teeth, that can indicate infection."

For more information, visit the A&M Vet School website. A link is provided in the related links section of this page.