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Like puppies and adult dogs, senior dogs have unique needs. As they get older, their nutritional needs can change. But with the proper care and attention, your dog can enjoy healthy and happy senior years. Regular veterinary checkups can help you anticipate, prevent, and treat certain age-related problems that may occur in your senior dog. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as your dog gets older.

1. Know the signs of aging. 

When a dog reaches the age of 7, he or she may start to show signs of physical and age-related cognitive decline.

2. Your dog can benefit from specialized nutrition. 

Dogs have different nutritional needs as they age. That means dogs over the age of seven can benefit from a food like Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND™ Adult 7+ that has been specially formulated to meet those needs. With high quality protein to promote lean muscle mass, glucosamine to help support joint health, and enhanced botanical oils shown to promote mental sharpness, BRIGHT MIND™ Adult 7+ formulas can help support the healthy lives of older dogs. 

3. Help your dog maintain a healthy weight. 

Older dogs sometimes have a tendency to gain or lose weight. Make sure you’re following the recommended feeding instructions from the food’s packaging or product page on to ensure your dog is getting an appropriate number of calories for his or her age, weight and breed size. Or get an expert food recommendation with myPLAN from Purina® Pro Plan® to help address these issues. While diet is important, work with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems if your dog is showing noticeable weight gain or loss.

4. Make your home easier to navigate. 

For an older dog, stairs and slippery surfaces like hardwood or tile floors can be confusing or even dangerous. If your dog has trouble navigating these, try relocating his or her food, kennel and other necessities to a place that doesn’t require the use of stairs or slippery surfaces to access them. You can also add traction to stairs or hallways with rubber mats or carpet runners, which may help your older dog move around more easily.

5. Visit your veterinarian regularly. 

Your veterinarian is your best resource for making sure your dog stays healthy. Make regular veterinary appointments for your dog, and, if in doubt, call your veterinarian for advice about any issues or concerns you might have.

With the right care and attention, you and your dog can enjoy all of your years together.