If you are like me, then you love your dog so much that you wish he could live forever!

Unfortunately, we can’t ignore some of the changes that occur as the years go by…

Every dog ages differently, but there are some common changes that occur as the body ages. Today I want to tell you about some of the most common things that happen as our dogs get older.

1. Loss of hearing. As dogs age, the nerve cells and hearing apparatus degenerates, resulting in a slow loss of hearing.

2. Loss of vision. The lens of the eye becomes cloudy with age. Natural changes result in lenticular sclerosis, which typically does not cause significant vision loss. However, cataracts may develop, which do interfere with vision.

3. Decreased activity. As dogs age, their metabolic rate slows and as a result, they become less active.

4. Weight gain. Elderly dogs require 30 to 40 percent fewer calories. So simply eating a normal maintenance diet, often causes obesity.

5. Infections . As the body ages, the immune system weakens, making it harder for your dog to ward off infections.

One more important thing to consider is caring for your dog’s teeth.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth?

If not, after a few years of neglect, your dog may suffer from tooth decay, bleeding gums and tooth loss. To make matters worse, the bacteria that causes all these problems can travel through the bloodstream and eventually damage your dog’s major organs.

If brushing your dog’s teeth is not something you are already doing, you really must start, and do it  at least three times a week.

It’s simple to get your dog started on the road to better dental health (and fresher breath). Start by picking a good doggy toothbrush. For best results, do not use a human toothbrush, because your dog’s teeth are different than yours.

We’ve tested a lot of different dental care products and I recommend the Kissable Toothbrush from the Cain & Able dental collection. This really is a great brush – especially for those of you who are new to this whole “doggy tooth brushing” thing.

Brushing your dog’s teeth makes a world of difference. In fact, the American Animal Hospital Association says that brushing your dog’s teeth could add as much as five years to his life.

So even though life is not forever, I will take as much time as I can possibly get with my dog.