Common Dog Aging Signs & Health Problems
Seeing your furry friend grow old must be a real heartache as dogs experience tremendous physical, physiological, and behavioral changes in their senior years. These changes affect canines’ vigor, mobility, enthusiasm, physical activity, and appetite, thus transforming your pet into an unrecognizable creature.
Nevertheless, pet parents are obliged to recognize the aging signs and health problems that their four-legged companions develop over time in order to facilitate their last stages of life. You need to be understanding about your dog’s change of habits, lack of enthusiasm, and overall disorientation.
The following aging signs and health problems will prepare you for its last years.
Loss of senses
As canines enter their senior years, they start experiencing deterioration of their senses, thus gradually losing their eyesight, smell, and hearing ability. Due to the degeneration of the tissue in dogs’ eyes and ears, these furry creatures become incredibly susceptible to developing hearing problems and eye disorders. For instance, most senior canines develop cataracts, referring to an eye disease that manifests in blurry vision that might eventually result in blindness. Read more about the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of dog cataracts.
Owing to the gradual loss of their senses, aging dogs experience trouble while navigating their environment. Not being able to rely on their senses makes them more anxious, aggressive, and fearful. Therefore, make sure you avoid unexpected movements that might startle your companion, as it’s unaware of the people and objects in its surrounding.
Arthritis is undoubtedly the most common medical condition in senior dogs, affecting their joints due to lack of lubrication. This disorder manifests in insufferable joint pain that canines successfully mask until the pain becomes too overwhelming to hide.
Consequently, your pet will demonstrate reluctance towards its dearest activities, such as going for long walks, playing in the yard, or following you around the house. Additionally, its vigor will be replaced with unusual lethargy, as some days your pet might even lack the strength to lift its body off the floor.
Therefore, pet parents of senior dogs are advised to make necessary alterations to the lives of their companions to ease their discomfort. Long walks are supposed to be replaced with short strolls that would minimize the effects of stiffness. Also, administering joint supplements and introducing a diet rich in nutrients is crucial in preserving the joint health of your furry friend.
Changes in behavior
Apart from physical and physiological changes, senior canines tend to experience drastic changes in their behavior. Your once robust pet that waved its tail every time you’ve arrived home might not even greet you upon entering the house. The following link, https://pethempcompany.com/blogs/issues/aging-and-wellness-for-pets, explains the most common aging signs in both canines and felines. Instead of feeling enthusiastic about long walks, your pet will most likely ignore most of your invitations.
Moreover, bear in mind that senior pets require prolonged periods of sleep in order to feel energetic enough to perform regular daily activities. Therefore, make sure you don’t interrupt your companion’s nap at daytime regardless of how surprising its behavior seems to you.
Senior canines are prone to experiencing either weight loss or weight gain when entering their last stages of life. For instance, some dogs suffer from digestive problems and appetite loss, which eventually leads to weight loss. Additionally, certain medical conditions like cancer and kidney disease are also likely to affect your companion’s interest in food.
Obesity, on the other hand, is even more common in older canines, caused by a lack of physical activity. Nevertheless, obesity is known to trigger a myriad of health problems, such as diabetes, joint pain, and heart disease. Therefore, pet owners are required to adjust their dog’s diet to its age by reducing calorie intake and increase the number of nutrients.
Senior canines are also susceptible to kidney issues, as their kidneys become functionless over the years. Although kidney disease cannot be cured, pet owners are supposed to provide their companions with proper nutrition and regular vet check-ups. Consequently, the life of your furry friend will be prolonged at least for a certain period.
Senior dogs deserve proper treatment.
Provide the best care!