Your dog's body is a smorgasbord for flies, ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and countless other parasitic invaders, perhaps the most insidious of which rely on your dog's intestinal tract for the completion of their life cycles. Not surprisingly, our contemplation of these often microscopic lives is limited to how best to eradicate them.
"Internal and external parasites are of concern to every dog and cat I see," says Dr. Michael Stone, veterinary internist and clinical assistant professor of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. "I feel it is my responsibility to discuss parasitic infections and their consequences. Many owners are not aware of the dangers that exist for both their pet and themselves."
Owners can take greater responsibilities in helping slow the aging process by noting early changes in their dogs' appetites, behaviors and physical conditions. Veterinarians offer these recommendations:
Reinforce basic commands. You can teach an aging dog to "Sit" before heading out the door for a walk or "Give me a paw" shake before settling down his or her food bowl. Test hearing and sight by teaching your dog to make eye contact with…