How to Recognize Age
Following is a list of the common signs of dog aging. Many of the symptoms are similar to those that people experience as they age, and just like people, the way each dog ages is unique. Your dog may experience some of the following symptoms, and there are others he won’t experience.
Coat: As with people, older dogs may start to show grey hair. In dogs this usually appears first on their muzzle and around their eyes. Their hair may also become thinner and duller – however it’s important to see your veterinarian to ensure the thinness and dullness isn’t a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Getting older is no reason to quit the beauty regime. Regular grooming will help keep your pet’s coat healthy, matt-free and looking its best. Grooming sessions are also a great way to spend quality time bonding with your furry family member.
Skin: The skin of an older dog may become thinner and more subject to injury. Dry skin can also be a problem for older dogs.
Incontinence: Older dogs sometimes have a problem controlling urination – even if they’ve been house-trained for years. If your dog starts urinating in inappropriate places it could be due to a health problem, and you should consult your vet.
Less activity: Arthritis may develop in your dog’s joints, which may make him less active if he finds it painful to move. You should still exercise your dog to keep his joints moving, but make sure you don’t overdo it. When your pet becomes a senior citizen, it certainly does not mean the fun days are over and your pet will become a couch potato. Senior pets are still full of life and enjoy taking part in daily activities. Daily physical and mental stimulation are essential in keeping your senior pet happy and healthy.
Physical activity is particularly important, as it can help address two common health problems in senior pets; arthritis and obesity. Gentle exercise is a great way to keep your senior pet in shape. However, it is important that your pet avoids any jarring movements, as this can cause joint problems.
Arthritis affects cats and dogs in the same way that it affects humans, causing pain and discomfort in the joints. If you notice your pet is having difficulty sitting, standing, or making other movements, is reluctant to climb or use stairs, or seems disinterested in play and physical activity, these could be warning signs that your pet is developing arthritis. If you suspect your pet may have arthritis, you should consult your vet, who will be able to investigate further and help develop a health and exercise plan tailored to your pet’s specific needs.