Is My Dog Getting Old? How to Know

Dogs are a great pet to own. They require regular care from the time you bring them home. But aging dogs require a lot more care. Different breeds of dog’s age at different rates and times. Generally, large breed dogs age faster than smaller dogs.

A dog’s age is dependent on their dietary history, the environment, and their physical prowess. As a doggie owner, please retain regular visits with your veterinarian.

Your dog should see the vet annually because many illnesses in a dog do not immediately appear. Preventative care is always best for all types of dogs.

Your dog’s overall health will change as they age. Watching them age can tug at the heartstrings. A majority of smaller dog breeds age around 7 years of age.

Larger breeds age earlier. One of the main signs of aging is weight gain. In aging, your dog will let you know what is going on in their brain and body.

What are the signs that your dog is aging? Below are several symptoms that your best canine friend is aging gracefully.

Arthritis will decrease the activity of your doggie

If your dog is not rallying as they use to then they are likely experiencing muscle loss. When they can’t master the stairs, if they sleep a lot, if they move slowly especially when it is raining, arthritis may be the culprit. Just like humans, arthritis, or muscle loss due to aging is painful.

Arthritis affects their joints, legs, and other parts of their body. Inform your vet about expecting that your doggie may have an arthritic condition.

There are supplements that can be given to your canine friend that helps to fight the inflammatory pain caused by arthritis. The vet will also suggest that you take them for short walks or other non-impactful exercises. Provide simple techniques to help them feel comfortable and at ease.

Older dogs begin to experience outward changes

These include their coat or fur, their skin, and their nails. Their skin will get drier and/or their fur or coat will become a little rough to the touch. Their nails will require more frequent grooming. Also, unusual bumps can suddenly appear on their skin.

Vets will inform you about bumps, They are aged related. These bumps are fatty tumors known as ‘lipomas’, skin cysts called ‘sebaceous cysts’, or infected hair blisters known as ‘hematomas’.

Gaining weight is one of the main issues of dogs aging

Unfortunately, you must watch their weight carefully or it could lead to health issues. The system in aging dogs begins to naturally slow down.

Weight gain begins because their energy level lessens, your dog is not as active, and their calorie intake will change. Even if your dog acts like they are hungry and they want more treats, their body is not responding as it should.

Aging dogs do not burn the calories as they once did. A veterinarian will also suggest changing your dog’s food. Older dogs will need to have less fat and feature more fiber.

Monitor your dog’s oral health

Too many periodontal diseases can develop as your dog begins to age. Gum disease or gingivitis are common problems that can easily develop.

Many older dogs find it harder to fight off oral bacteria. Different breeds of dogs develop dental problems at different times in the aging process. Make sure their dental checks are a part of your dog’s routine care.

Other physical appearance changes can also indicate an aging process is taking place

It is graying on the face. Many dogs can begin graying during their middle years. But it is a guarantee those gray hairs on the face, chest, and other parts of the body are due to growing older.

Calling your dog may require several attempts

As a dog’s age, they experience some hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process. However, please consult with your vet to rule out infections and something lodged in their ear canal.

When hearing loss is indicated, keep a careful eye out for your dog. Do not let them run loose because they can not hear danger.

As our dog’s age, a bluish eye tint takes place

A transparent haze in the pupil region begins to form. It is one of the key effects of aging. A bluish, transparent tint on the pupils is called ‘lenticular sclerosis’.

Older dogs will likely soil your carpet even though they have always been trained

As dogs get well up in age, there is no holding their poop or urine in. Patience is required, maybe even a doggie diaper. Don’t wait until your dog gives you the signal to go outdoors to release their body fluids.

You must begin to take them out more often. Talk to your vet about a possible incontinence condition.

As your dog goes through the aging process, they can forget how to perform certain tricks or how to move around the house. Cognitive abilities will begin to slow down.

Medications and prescribed supplements are available to help them. Remain patient because your dog does not realize what is happening to them. It is a part of your favorite pet getting older.

Vision loss

If your dog begins to run into the leg of a table or a chair, aging is to blame. Vision loss is another aging symptom.

The ASPCA asks aging doggie owners to use specific scents to help your dog find their way to their food and to other parts of the house. Block off parts of your home so your dog will not stumble into danger.

Just like humans your aging dog will start getting colder easily

Aging dogs have a hard time regulating their body temperatures like when they were young. Your older dog can start shaking meaning they are having trouble staying warm.

When your dog needs more warmth and they will tolerate clothing, a nice doggie sweater is good. Provide a warm comfortable sleeping pillow to rest on.

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