Humans just like aging dogs can experience all of these issues listed here. It is important to be mindful of changes as your dog ages and take your dog to the vet regularly for exams.
Older dogs can develop oral disease especially if they don't have their teeth brushed regularly. This leads to teeth having to be pulled from being rotten. Infected gums and teeth can cause pain and bad breath. The infection can also cause infection in other parts of the body.
Dietary Needs Can Change
Older dogs usually need a lower caloric intake as their metabolism slows and they are less active. Some older dogs may need a specific dog food designed for senior dogs which is lower in fat, protein and sodium. Older dogs also need more water since like older humans can more easily become dehydrated. As you get older your body retains less water. Higher fiber intake may be necessary to prevent weight gain, constipation, help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Different Weights Different Rates
Smaller dogs and dogs that weigh less have a longer expected life span. If you have a larger dog expect the signs of aging to occur as young as 5 years old. If you are interested in knowing how old your dog is in human years, this is a better way to convert dog years to human years. Although 7 human years is roughly 1 dog year, it is not accurate.
Need To Use the Bathroom More
Just like with humans as they age, older dogs don't have the bladder of a young dog. You may need to take your dog out also during the night, because they may not be able to hold it for 8 or more hours.
Dogs can lose their vision as they get older. Try to not move things such as your dog's bed, food and water to other areas which may confuse them if they are having trouble seeing. Don't have the area where they sleep completely dark, in case they get up during the night. You should also take your dog for regular checkups to make sure their vision loss is not something else besides just aging.
Can Experience Anxiety
Senior dogs can develop separation anxiety or due to certain noises. This could be due to a medical issue or just age. Trying to reduce any stress caused by noise, walking your dog in a quiet place, keeping floors cleared of clutter for your dog to walk easily and being mindful of how your dog reacts to other people can all reduce anxiety.
Joint pain, arthritis and conditions such as hip dysplasia are common in older dogs. Shorter walks, joint supplements for dogs, an orthopedic dog bed, assisting your dog into the car and even possibly a prescribed medication may help to manage painful joints.
Can Have Dementia
Aging dogs can have dementia. The leading cause of dementia is from Alzheimer's Disease. These issues cannot be stopped, but there are medications that could help. Contact your vet if you notice any signs such as pacing, staring at things, confusion or not recognizing familiar faces.
About The Author
Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our dog wheelchairs. We have small, medium and big dog wheelchairs.
We offer a front support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog cart, a rear support dog wheelchair and the patented SitGo Dog Pet Wheelchair. This is the only affordable dog wheelchair that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it.