It doesn't seem that long ago that your dog was a rambunctious puppy. Now your frisky puppy has turned into a fragile senior citizen. Just because your dog is getting up there in years doesn't mean it can't enjoy life. There's nothing you can do to slow down the hands of time, but there are some things you can do to help your dog live its remaining years in comfort. Here are four steps you can take to help your dog through the final years of its life.

Provide Regular Health Checkups

One of the most important things you can do for your dog once it reaches its senior years is making sure they receive their yearly checkups. Those yearly checkups will allow the veterinarian the opportunity to catch age-related health issues while they're still in the early stages. This is particularly important for health issues such as arthritis and heart disease.

Keep Them Moving

Keeping your dog moving can help slow down the onset of arthritis and can prevent mobility-related obesity. Obesity can be a real concern for senior dogs. It can contribute to health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.  Unfortunately, as dogs age, they tend to slow down. You can help keep your dog healthy by increasing the daily activity. Try taking your dog for a 30 minute walk each day. If that length of time seems to be too much for your pet to endure in one session, try two 15 minute walks each day – one in the morning and one in the evening.

Add Some Fiber

Like humans, dogs can begin experiencing digestive troubles as they age. You can help regulate digestion and prevent canine constipation by adding fiber to your dog's diet. Adding a bit of pumpkin to your dog's food is a good way to ensure that it's getting the daily dietary fiber it needs to stay healthy.

Know the Warning Signs

Senior dogs are prone to a wide variety of age-related ailments. Some of them are minor ailments, such as constipation. However, some ailments can be life-threatening. It's important that you know the warning signs of the life-threatening ailments. If your pet develops any of the following symptoms, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Lumps – especially around the mouth or throat
  • Shortness of breath – especially when there's been no physical exertion
  • Appetite changes – especially a loss of appetite

If you have a senior dog, it's going to need some extra love and attention. The tips provided here will help you keep your aging dog happy and healthy. Contact a business, such as 1st Pet Veterinary Centers, for more information about caring for a sick pet.