If you have a dog that is getting up there in years, keeping their health a priority is important. Make sure that your vet is a part of the process in monitoring your dog's health as they age. It is up to you to be your dog's voice, so taking note of changes and diminishing health is important. Here are four things that you can do in conjunction with your vet to help with your aging dog's health.

1. Helping Your Dog Stay Comfortable

Sometimes older dogs will have physical limitations that you can work with your vet to alleviate. If your dog has chronic pain from an illness or other physical issues, your vet may be able to offer up medications or holistic techniques that can help with pain reduction. Sometimes ramps can help older dogs that have trouble with stairs, or pain reducers or steroids can help with pain relief and help with appetite.

2. Regular Checkups are Still Important

While emergency veterinary hospital care is always available, it is a good idea to keep up with regular appointments. Your vet can take note if there are drastic changes in your dog's health, such as issues with your dog's teeth or weight loss. These indicators may help diagnose issues early on so that treatment is available. If it is a struggle for your dog to get to the vet, you can source a vet to come to you in order to keep up with checkups.

3. Dealing With Behavior Regression

Sometimes dogs will have physical and mental problems later on in life that might seem like behavior regression. If you dog is in pain, they might act aggressively, or if they are going blind, they might become anxious and act out. If you notice a marked change in your dog's behavior, this might be something that is beyond their control. The vet can assess if there have been health deterioration and offer up medication or modifications to your home to help.

4. Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

If your dog is reaching the end of their life, your vet can recommend end of life options. It can be hard to say goodbye, but your vet can let you know how far along a chronic illness has gotten or assess of your dog's quality of life in order to help with decision making. It might be too painful to understand that it is time to put your dog to sleep, but your vet can help logically assess this and help you through the process.

Caring for your dog throughout their older years can be time consuming but will give you the assurance that you did everything to give your dog the best life possible right up to the end. Dogs can bring so much to their family's lives and deserve to have the best care possible throughout all stages of life.