ABSTRACT

The guidelines are an update and extension of the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines published in 2012. A noteworthy change from the earlier guidelines is the division of the dog’s lifespan into five stages (puppy, young adult, mature adult, senior, and end of life) instead of the previous six. This simplified grouping is consistent with how pet owners generally perceive their dog’s maturation and aging process and provides a readily understood basis for an evolving, lifelong healthcare strategy. The guidelines provide the following recommendations for managing 10 health-related factors at each of the first four canine life stages: lifestyle effect on the patient’s safety, zoonotic and human safety risk, behavior, nutrition, parasite control, vaccination, dental health, reproduction, breed-specific conditions, and a baseline diagnostic profile.

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