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Caring For Older Dogs
It doesn't matter how fit and healthy your dog has been in its adult life, the chances are they will suffer some form of ill health as he or she gets older.
It's all, unfortunately, a natural part of ageing, and when a dog begins to get old depends very much on its breed and individual circumstances. As a rule of thumb, the larger the dog, the shorter the life span, and therefore the sooner it will begin to enter old age. Similarly, pedigree dogs have a shorter life span than cross-breeds.
Most dogs past 8 years of age are considered to be 'senior'. The tell tale signs of old age are normally very clear. Your dog will begin to get a little grey and will slow down on walks, spending more time sniffing scents than bounding around the park like a puppy. They may also become a little stiffer, lose some of their eye sight and hearing and, with some breeds, become smellier as their coats and skin dry out.
Pet Insurance for Older Dogs
The good news if you're looking for pet insurance for an older dog is that there are several pet insurance firms that now do not discriminate against older dogs and allow you to buy the pet insurance that you need. See our table below for a guide to pet insurance insurance providers who accept applications for pet insurance for older dogs. For older pets, Pet Health Insurance recommends John Lewis Pet Insurance. John Lewis pet insurance consistently tops our users' satisfaction ratings for pet insurance for older dogs on price and quality.
Many of our readers have enquired about Petplan's 'covered for life' policies. Petplan will cover your pet for life regardless of
conditions that develop in older age as long as you keep up the policy throughout the pet's life. For older dogs you must take out this policy before the dog's 8th birthday (before age 10 for cats). As long as you meet these criteria you can get a quote from Petplan here where you can also get 10% off all Petplan policies when you buy online.
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As with humans, older dogs may also be more prone to putting on a little excess weight. If this becomes a problem, it is advisable to cut down slightly on their food quantities, particularly any treats. It is also a good idea to feed your dog smaller amounts of food but more frequently. Any changes, though, should be gradual.
A common problem with older dogs is that they can, inadvertently, end up going to the toilet inside the house. These accidents can happen because they are either becoming
too old and arthritic to make it outside the house or because they are suffering a health problem and don't realise they need the toilet. Don't get angry with your dog but do make sure your dog sees a vet as the condition may well be treatable. It may also mean making an adjustment so that your dog is taken outside more frequently, particularly after eating. On a similar note, if your dog begins to drink more than normal, get he or she checked out as it may be a sign of a kidney problem.
An older dog will almost certainly also need to visit the vet at some stage about their teeth. Many dogs need dental treatment in older age - a typical sign may be smelly breath or if your dog is eating on one side of their mouth only. Part of your daily treatment for your dog as he or she gets older should also be to check for lumps and bumps - you should consult your vet if you find anything as they may need to be removed.
Pet insurance, or more specifically dog insurance, is a vital way to keep your dog healthy as they get older. Protect yourself from high vet bills and get the very best healthcare for your dog. To get an instant dog insurance quote click here.
Pet Health Insurance aims to give you as much information as possible about pet insurance and why you should have it for your pet.
We have gathered together links to many of the top online pet insurers but we do not provide or endorse any particular product or make recommendations in any way. Please ensure that the pet insurance product that you purchase from any online provider meets your needs and that the provider is correctly regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).