Introducing a new Senior Dog Care series at the Dog Aging Project

October 20, 2020 - 4 minutes read

People tend to get starry-eyed over pudgy, wiggling puppies. We love them too, but at the Dog Aging Project, we have a special spot in our hearts for old dogs. An old dog has seen a few things in life. An old dog has been there through weddings and births, through break-ups and losses. When you’ve had a hard day, an old dog is there to sit by your side. It’s a unique privilege to help old dogs live their best lives for as long as possible. That’s really what the Dog Aging Project is all about.

Image by Susanne Pälmer

Senior dogs experience many of the same health conditions that humans do. They can get the same diseases of aging like arthritis and cancer. They may experience mobility issues or have pain management needs. Like us, their behavior may change with age. Dog owners may notice signs of cognitive decline or personality alterations. Our researchers are studying all of these issues to better understand the cause and develop strategies for prevention. Our goal is to find ways to extend healthspan, the period of life spent in good health and free of disease.

We’ve got lots of wonderful, old dogs who are part of the Dog Aging Project, and sometimes we get questions about how to best care for our furry friends as they start to slow down in life. To that end, we’ve asked two members of our veterinary team to write a series of posts about senior dog care. These will be appearing on our blog and featured in our newsletter over the next few months.

This series of blog posts will describe aging in dogs and then focus on several common challenges that older dogs face including unique preventative healthcare needs, decreased mobility, and cognitive decline. The aim is to provide you with helpful tools and suggestions to address these challenges and hopefully empower you to take care of your elderly pupper as effectively and lovingly as possible.  

Keep in mind that while our team is full of experts, we can’t ethically offer medical advice. We urge you to discuss your dog’s unique situation with your primary care veterinarian because they are the experts on your dog’s history and needs. 

About Our Senior Dog Care Veterinary Experts

After working as a general and emergency veterinarian for four years, Dr. Kellyn McNulty joined the Dog Aging Project as a research fellow and is completing a small animal internal medicine residency program at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Gray Barnett has research experience ranging from immunological development in dairy cattle to electrocardiographic indicators of valvular disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He is a research fellow with the Dog Aging Project and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University.