Background to the OAP project
Dogs are living up to twice as long as they did 40 years ago which has implications for ageing dogs’ healthcare and wellbeing. As the life expectancy of canine golden oldies increases, so does the amount of time our dogs spend in poor health, but it may be difficult for us to distinguish between normal age-related changes and serious diseases that require veterinary treatment.
To help address this, BSAVA PetSavers funded a major research project at the University of Liverpool – Old Age Pets – to help vets and owners provide the best care for their senior and geriatric dogs.
PetSavers-funded researchers at the University of Liverpool used qualitative methods to investigate owner expectations, experiences and attitudes to ageing in dogs. Pet owners were invited to submit diaries, photographs and videos, to share their experiences of living with an older dog. There were also been opportunities for both veterinary professionals and pet owners to complete in-depth interviews and online questionnaires.
Findings and key themes from this part of the study were used to develop online surveys to gather quantitative data from veterinary professionals and owners about their experiences of caring for senior dogs.