Dog Quality of Life Calculator
Welcome to Omni's dog quality of life calculator, a simple tool to assess your dog's quality of life.
We all try to give our beloved dogs the best life we can. After all, they are excellent life companions, and they contribute to the daily release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. But have you ever wondered how to determine your dog's quality of life? Use the dog quality of life calculator, and come along to get answers to the following questions:
- What is the pet quality of life scale?
- How do you measure your dog's quality of life?
- How can you improve your dog's quality of life?
- Could it be time to euthanize your dog?
The pet quality of life scale
Accurately assessing dogs' quality of life is a significant but challenging part of veterinary practice. Unfortunately, our furry friends can not speak to express how happy and healthy they feel. Veterinarians therefore use various scales to assess the condition of dogs. Omni's dog quality of life calculator incorporates one of these scales — " the Quality of Life Scale & Daily Diary," developed by Dr. Mary Gardner.
This pet quality of life scale assesses critical factors of a dog's quality of life, including:
Mobility, the ability to move effortlessly. Dogs with poor mobility have difficulty getting up and can only take short walks. Those with bare minimum mobility cannot get up or walk — or at least not without assistance.
Nutrition, an indicator of a dog's appetite. Dogs with poor appetite may require hand-feeding or enticing to finish a meal. If you're interested in how many calories your dog should be consuming, the dog food calculator is here to help.
Hydration, an indicator of a dog's water intake. This factor measures whether a dog has an adequate water intake, has poor water intake, or requires subcutaneous fluids to stay hydrated. Learn more about your dog's adequate water intake using dog water intake calculator;
Interaction/attitude, an assessment of a dog's social interactions. Determined by whether a dog interacts typically, has decreased interest, or avoids interaction altogether.
Elimination, a factor measuring a dog's ability to hold urine and bowel movements. Determined by whether it has abnormal eliminations or is unable to eliminate.
Favorite things, an indicator of enthusiasm. Determined by whether a dog is interested in its typical favorite activities or has decreased or no interest.
How does the dog quality of life calculator work? How do you measure a dog's quality of life?
Using the dog quality of life calculator is relatively straightforward. The tool presents you with key factors that contribute to your dog's quality of life — all you need to do is use your judgment to select which options apply to your dog the most in the given categories.
For example, when selecting an option in the item "Mobility," choose "Good" if your dog has no difficulties getting around the house and enjoys walking outside. If your dog has difficulty getting up and enjoys short walks only, select "Poor." If your dog needs assistance to move around and pain or anti-inflammatory medication does not help, select "Bare minimum."
After you select all your responses, this quality of life scale for dogs will tell you whether your dog is a happy and healthy pet, whether it may need an intervention, or whether it may be suffering.
How to improve dog's quality of life
Now that you know how to determine a dog's quality of life, let's talk about measures you can take to improve your furry best friend's well-being. 🐶
Help your dog to be physically active. If your dog has good mobility, don't hesitate to take it on a long walk or a good hike. Let it explore the surroundings; walking does not only keep your dog in good health, but it also keeps it mentally stimulated, which in turn decreases behavioral problems (e.g., chewing and barking).
Put effort into mentally stimulating your dog. Look into purchasing puzzle feeders and toys. If you're on a budget, don't worry! Try to teach your dog new skills and tricks during feeding time, using kibble as a reward.
Don't forget to take your dog on regular wellness check-ups. Whether or not your dog seems healthy and happy, a veterinarian should generally examine it at least once a year. Early detection is the best prevention!
Talk to your veterinarian about vitamin supplements. An adequate commercial dog food diet will often contain vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, but if your dog is on a homemade diet, consider consulting with a veterinarian for additional supplements your dog can take.
Take care of your dog's oral health. Good dental health prevents oral pain, tooth loss, dental diseases, and even organ damage. If you neglect your dog's teeth, bacteria in the plaque can enter your dog's bloodstream, increasing the risk of heart, liver, and kidney disease.
Don't miss out on bonding time with your dog. It is no secret that dogs are pack animals by nature. Try to minimize the amount of time your dog spends alone; even if you find yourself busy during the day, free up the schedule for the evening to shower your dog with attention and affection. Lonely dogs can exhibit depressive behaviors, such as withdrawal, sleep changes, and lethargy.
Make sure your dog does not consume food that may be damaging to its health. Did you know that chocolate and raisins can cause toxicity in dogs? To learn more, visit our dog chocolate toxicity calculator and dog raisin toxicity calculator.
How do I determine a dog's quality of life?
You can determine your dog's quality of life by using the quality of life scale for dogs and assessing its mobility, nutrition, hydration, interaction/attitude, elimination (urination and defecation), and interest in their favorite things.
What are the signs that my dog's quality of life is decreasing?
Sure signs that indicate your dog's quality of life is worsening include (but are not limited to):
- Poor mobility;
- Decrease in appetite;
- Need for assistance to urinate/defecate;
- Insufficient water intake;
- Reduced interaction with family and other pets; and
- Decreased interest in favorite toys and activities.
How do I improve my senior dog's quality of life?
There are various ways to improve your senior dog's quality of life. Here are some of the steps you can consider:
- Try feeding your dog meals lower in fat and higher in fiber in smaller, more frequent meals.
- Look into buying an orthopedic bed, which can ease your dog's joint pain.
- Consider getting warming pads to accommodate arthritis and joint pain.
- Don't miss out on your dog's oral hygiene to avoid dental decay.
- Take your dog on more frequent, shorter walks to prevent muscle atrophy.
Is it time to euthanize my dog?
It is hard to decide when to say goodbye to your beloved dog. However, some signs may indicate that it is time to euthanize your dog:
- Your dog has bare minimum mobility;
- They've stopped eating or drinking;
- They refuse interaction and has no interest in their favorite activities;
- They seem scared and anxious;
- They are unable to control elimination (urination and defecation);
- They have difficulty breathing; and
- They display signs of being in pain.
You can also assess your dog's quality of life by using a dog quality of life quiz.