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Published: Jul 03, 2012

All owners want the highest quality of life for their beloved canine companions, but when dogs enter their golden years, health conditions can pose problems and pain in dogs. However, there are several ways you can stay on top of your pet's health to help it age gracefully, according to

People may expect dogs to slow down a bit as they age, but if your dog is suddenly lethargic, it might be a sign of a treatable condition, according to the news outlet. In a way, treating pain in dogs often seems to turn back the clock. A dog that owners pegged as simply old and frail may be entirely invigorated once it is treated for diabetes or starts taking a joint supplement or medication to treat arthritis pain.

Dogs are also instinctively wired to hide their pain as a survival mechanism, so lethargy may be your dog's way of hiding its pain from you. In fact, some of the clinical signs of pain include becoming quiet, withdrawn and inactive, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Bringing your older dog to the veterinarian at least twice each year is one of the best ways to spot any health problems that may be negatively affecting quality of life. This way, you can get your dog treated so you and your canine companion can enjoy every moment together.