10 Signs of Old Age in Dogs
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If your best friend is over 7 years old, you'll probably start noticing these 10 signs of old age in dogs as we explain below. These are basically a series of factors which appear as a result of aging and that you must take into account. Being familiar with these signs will help you to better understand your dog and to look after it how it deserves at this stage of its life.
If you notice urine leakages or your dog seems disorientated, don't worry; these things come hand in hand with aging. You should learn to live with them and help your dog as you can so that life becomes more comfortable for both of you, even if it requires some re-training.
Keep reading this AnimalWised post and don't forget to pay attention to the links provided at the end of the article relating to senior dogs and their care.
1. Their senses begin to fail
Much like people, old dogs begin to lose sharpness in their senses. Problems such as deafness or blindness are common in older dogs. For this reason, you should start looking for new means of communication with the dog and treat it with more tenderness and care.
You should be vigilant in such cases, and always remember to place all their belongings - bed, toys, bowl - in the same places so that they don't get confused, and can move at peace around the house.
2. Urinary problems arise
It is very common for older dogs to occasionally urinate at home. You shouldn't tell them off or punish them. Instead, clean up the urine when it isn't looking at you. One way to avoid this situation could be to take it for more regular walks for shorter intervals so that it doesn't get tired.
3. Degenerative diseases develop
Some degenerative diseases appear with age, and usually cause the dog discomfort and sadness. If it is in lots of pain, it's a good idea to go to the vet for advice on a remedy. In the meantime, it will be essential to give it a comfortable bed in which it can relax.
Some of the most common degenerative diseases among older dogs include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
Unfortunately, dogs are also susceptible to suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. That has a direct influence on behavioral changes and the appearance of strange and inconsistent habits. It will be crucial to be patient and show them affection.
You should know that dogs suffering from Alzheimer's disease may forget where the food is or where you are. Supervising them and guaranteeing their welfare should be a priority for you.
4. Skin changes
There are many changes in the dog's fur that suggest your best friend is getting older: White fur, calluses or pad problems are usually the most common. It's important to regularly inform your vet of the appearance of calluses or dry pads.
5. Drowsiness and fatigue
Older dogs need more rest than adult dogs, who are tireless and active. For this reason, it will be important to allow them to rest in peace for as long as they need. You'll start noticing that they welcome you home with increasingly less enthusiasm. Nonetheless, they demonstrate more tenderness and delicacy when they are with you.
Some of these problems might be related to the pain caused by a particular disease. Older dogs should not be forced to do excessive exercise, since this can cause damage to their muscles and bones.
6. Tooth decay and tartar
Dog's teeth usually deteriorate with the passing of time. To deal with this, it will be important to regularly clean the dog's teeth and give it oral hygiene snacks, which are very popular nowadays. Caring for an elderly dog's teeth is very important, allowing them to keep eating as normal.
7. Quiet and stable personality
The personality of an old dog is, quite simply, adorable. Over the years, their kisses become more delicate and affectionate and their behavior quieter and more stable.
You should start avoiding long walks or active exercise, but you can still enjoy a playful and happy dog. Discover some dog intelligence games so that you can keep it stimulated and stop it from getting bored.
8. Weight changes
Older dogs often suffer from significant weight changes. We must stress the importance of aiming for an appropriate weight and avoiding obesity at all costs, since it will directly affect the onset of some degenerative diseases.
Don't forget that the dog should make the switch to senior or +7 food at this stage, which is a product designed to meet the specific needs of animals in this stage of life. Don't hesitate to notify the vet of these changes.
Here you can find out how much and how often you should feed your dog.
9. It becomes more dependent
Your dog understands that it is suffering significant physical and mental changes, and all of this makes it more dependent on its family. You must support it and guide it towards the stimuli that make it feel safe and comfortable.
10. Appearance of tumors
The appearance of tumors is common in older dogs. It will be very important to see your vet as soon as you detect one. The specialist will tell you whether it is a benign or malignant tumor, and how you should proceed. It is very important to treat this problem as soon as possible.
Visit the following articles to learn more about older dogs:
If you want to read similar articles to 10 Signs of Old Age in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Geriatrics category.