As you may know, dogs age at a rapid pace and before you know it your best friend might be considered a senior dog.
As your dog ages from adult to senior, you may notice some changes and special requirements that need to be met. Knowing what to expect can better prepare dog owners to deal with their new senior pet.
When is my dog considered a senior?
Most dogs are considered “senior” at around 7 years of age. This number may be higher for small breed dogs and slightly lower for large breed dogs. For information on how to better estimate your pet’s age in comparison to human years, please read Dogs and People – What is the Age Comparison?
What changes can I expect as my dog becomes a senior?
- You may first notice changes in your dog’s activity level. Similar to people, elderly dogs may not have the same amount of energy they once did.
- It is common to see weight changes in your senior dog. With the change in your senior dog’s activity level, metabolic changes could result in weight gain or loss.
- Many diseases are more prevalent in senior dogs. These diseases include, but are not limited to: dental, heart and kidney disease; as well as diabetes, arthritis, cancer and cognitive function disorder. The following symptoms are common signs that your senior pet may be ill: Increase thirst or urination, bad breath, difficulty climbing stairs or jumping up, and/or increased stiffness or limping – excessive panting or barking, confusion or disorientation, changes in skin and hair coat. For dogs with arthritis, one of my favorite pet products is Nutrivet Hip & Joint Supplements. This is all natural glucosamine and I’ve really seen it help a lot of senior dogs. There is an inexpensive one-month supply that is worth a try if your dog has any signs of slowing down.
- If you notice any of these symptoms you should have your senior dog checked out by your veterinarian.
I hope this gives you a little more information about seniors.