Senior dogs have different care requirements than those of younger dogs. Taking care of their specific needs will ensure that your senior pooch stays healthy, happy, and with you for many years to come.

At what age is my dog considered a senior dog or geriatric?

It mainly depends on the breed and the dog’s unique traits. Small breeds are considered old when they are 10 or 11 years of age. Medium sized breeds, like Golden Retriever, come seniors at the age of 8-10, and giant breeds are considered old by the age of 5 or 6.

  • Small sized breeds, under 9kg: 9 – 13 years old
  • Medium sized breed, 9 – 22kg: 9 – 11 years old
  • Large/Giant sized breed, over 22kg: 6 – 9 years old
Dog BreedAge ExpectancyDog BreedAge Expectancy
Afghan Hound12Jack Russell Terrier13.6
Airedale Terrier11.2Labrador Retriever12.6
American Staffordshire Terrier12.3Lurcher12.6
Basset Hound12.8Miniature Dachshund14.4
Beagle13.3Miniature Pinscher14.9
Bearded Collie12.3Miniature Poodle14.8
Bedlington Terrier14.3Random-bred/Mongrel13.2
Bernese Mountain Dog7Newfoundland (dog)10
Border Collie13Norfolk Terrier10
Border Terrier13.8Old English Sheepdog11.8
Boston Terrier15Pekingese13.3
Bull Terrier12.9Pug16
Bulldog6.7Rajapalayam hound11.2
Bullmastiff8.6Rhodesian Ridgeback9.1
Cairn Terrier13.2Rottweiler9.8
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel10.7Rough Collie12.2
Chow Chow13.5Scottish Deerhound9.5
American Cocker Spaniel12.5Scottish Terrier12
Dachshund12.2Shetland Sheepdog13.3
Dalmatian13Shiba Inu14
Doberman Pinscher9.8Shih Tzu13.4
English Cocker Spaniel11.8Siberian Husky13.5
English Setter11.2Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier13.2
English Springer Spaniel13Staffordshire Bull Terrier14
English Toy Spaniel10.1Standard Poodle12
Flat-Coated Retriever9.5Tibetan Terrier14.3
German Shepherd10.3Toy Poodle14.4
German Shorthaired Pointer12.3Vizsla12.5
Golden Retrievers12Weimaraner10
Gordon Setter11.3Welsh Corgi11.3
Great Dane8.4Welsh Springer Spaniel11.5
Greyhound13.2West Highland White Terrier12.8
Irish Red and White Setter12.9Wire Fox Terrier13
Irish Setter11.8Yorkshire Terrier12.8
Irish Wolfhound6.2

Here is some expert advice on keeping your aging dog healthy, happy and comfortable during their golden years


Since they cannot regulate their own body temperatures that well anymore, it’s important to keep them warm and cosy when it’s cold, and also not keep them outside in the sun when it’s really hot.

Appropriate diet

Ensure their diet is best suited for them, especially if you suspect they are overweight. We can help with an assessment and prescription food if necessary.


Keep your dog at a healthy weight, because excess weight can place unnecessary stress on their joints.


Regular exercise has many benefits, but speak to us about a recommended and appropriate exercise program for your pooch.


Regular vet checkups are one of the most important things when it comes to caring for older dog. We recommend bringing in older dogs once every 6 months.

Dental care

Keep your older dog’s teeth healthy either by washing it daily or giving him dental treats. Also, an annual dental visit to the vet is a very good idea!


Deworming and parasite treatments should continue as normal, but vaccinations do not need to be administered as often as with younger dogs. Check with us regarding your dog’s individual needs.


Brush your dog regularly, and use special shampoos if his skin is dry or irritated.


Help them move around the house, like providing an easy accessible bed, carpets and rugs for traction and if necessary, restricting access to difficult areas like staircases.


Spend lots of time with your aging dog, walking, playing, giving them treats and cherishing the memories and every day spent with them.