Man's best friends are considered senior citizens at the ripe old age of seven years old, and with winter fast approaching a local veterinarian is urging residents to stay on top of their pets health.
Greencross veterinary director Andrew Speer said that in the course of his 30 year career he has seen the average age expectancy of dogs dramatically rise.
"That has been great, but it also means that we have seen an increase in issues and diseases associated with ageing," he said.
"In dogs the biggest issues are teeth, arthritis and general wear and tear injuries - cruciate ligament injuries have become very common, and we have also seen a rise in heart disease and obesity."
Fortunately treating, and even preventing, these common grievances has also become a lot easier with modern science and technology, with diet playing a major role.
A recent study revealed that one in four pet owners were unaware that their pets had "transitioned into seniors," and as they grow older their dietary requirements also change.
Interestingly the larger the breed the shorter its life expectancy, with Great Danes and St Bernards only expected to live to six, while Kelpies and Labradors average 12 to 14 years, and terriers and Jack Russells average 18 years of life.
"Owners need to transition their dogs onto diets that have lower energy balances as they get older," Mr Speer said.
"Supermarket food is generally fine, particularly the higher quality or more expensive ones.
"For arthritis and other conditions there is also some speciality foods and additives that can really help."
With winter approaching Mr Speer said it is also very important to provide adequate shelter and dry bedding for all dogs, while some older dogs might need to wear a coat or be given some extra care like sleeping inside.