Are you afraid or worried about losing your dog? It is hard to imagine that cute puppy you just brought home, will be a senior in seven to ten short years, but it is true. Although your dog’s age in people years can vary based on breed, they simply age faster than people. To find out how old your dog really is in human years, check out this cool dog calculator here. There are several signs to look for in your dog that will give you a clue to her aging. The fact is we all are getting older yet a lot of time it sneaks up on you. If you start to notice your pup acting differently, it could just be they are getting up there in age.
Although is sad to think about losing your best friend, just because they are showing signs of old age it doesn’t mean the end. As pet parents, we can notice these subtle changes over time and help them to age gracefully. There are many things and small adjustments that can be made to preserve your pet’s quality of life as they get older.
Read on to learn about some tale-tell signs your dog is getting older and what you can do to help relieve some of their new challenges.
It is pretty common for dogs to show signs of aging in their eyes. Aside from the distinguished gray hairs that tend to grow in around the eyes and muzzle, Have you noticed your old gal bumping into things? or not finding her special stuffed monkey as fast as she used to? Are her eyes slightly milky? It could be the beginning of Nuclear sclerosis. The is cloudiness, hardening, and yellowing of the central region of the lens in the eye called the nucleus. It doesn’t affect vision too much and, there is not much that needs to be done if that is the diagnosis.
This is just part of the natural aging process. Sometimes, though it can be a precursor to cataracts. To the untrained eye, they both look the same. If you notice a change in Fido’s eyes it’s best to have them checked out at the veterinarian office. Nuclear Sclerosis doesn’t need treatment but Cataracts do need to be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent more damage. Though unlikely your dog can go completely blind, cataracts cover the eye lens and soon your dog will see more shadows and changes in the light instead of her favorite toy. Remember to have your vet check out your pup’s eyes if you have any concerns.
Besides eyesight, the sense of hearing can be affected by age. Age-related hearing loss in dogs is caused by degeneration in the ear. It may be difficult to notice at first as hearing loss can also happen gradually. Early warning signs may include your dog not responding to your voice as quickly. Maybe you notice your favorite old canine sleeping through noises where in her youth she would be aroused by the noise. A trip to the vet can confirm a hearing loss, although there is not much that can be done to correct it. Many pets continue to live a happy life even after their hearing is gone, or affected by the aging process. If you do discover your pet has a hearing loss, it can be helpful to be very patient and find new ways to communicate with your furry family member.
It will become important to be able to get your pet’s attention and learn to convey what you are asking him to do. They are still sensitive to vibrations without their hearing. With additional hand signals and directions, you can easily learn new ways to communicate. Even old dogs want to please their pet parents.
Anxiety in Older Dogs
As an older dog, the gradual loss of eyesight or hearing can make your dog prone to anxiety. No one likes aging, and there is really no way to explain to your dog what is going on. It can be frightening to them until they adjust. It is valuable to learn to recognize things your pet will do when they are feeling stressed. Anxiety in pets can take the form of staring off into space, confusion, or shaking. With senses diminishing, your pet may feel a little lost and lose their bearings. Occasionally your buddy will become a little clingy, or overly attached to you. Our pup at home tends to lick her lips, which is another clue that she may be feeling anxious. Like their human counterparts, anxiety is sometimes fueled by anticipation or worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Like being left alone during the day.
It is so important to offer some comfort. Spending some extra time with your elderly dog can go a long way to offer security. Maintaining a routine is always important for your dog, but especially as they age. Consistent meal times and walk times can do wonders to manage their anxiety. It gives them something to look forward to and lets them know what to expect.
If it is really disruptive and Fido isn’t adjusting or gets worse, many have found relief with CBD oil. It does work wonders without getting your dog “high”. It is easy to administer, in oil form, or treats or CBD peanut butter. We enjoy products from Petal and Tails. The cost is competitive to other local sources here in Southern California and the CBD treats are affective to calm an overstimulated pet. ( I can even get Pizza Cat to eat the treats) CBD also acts as an anti-inflammatory which helps relieve other symptoms as well. Yes, CBD is federally legal to ship anywhere in the USA.
A sure-fire indication that your dog is getting up there in age is the inability for him to get up there on the bed or couch. It is common for weakness in the hind legs to become noticeable. If you notice your buddy is enjoying daily walks less often or if they are walking a little more stiff than normal, it could be age. Hip pain, muscle pain, the onset of arthritis can all affect mobility. Moving and taking walks help however, you and your friend may need to just take it slower. Take time to smell the roses on outings. You can also learn dog massage to bond with your pup and help with the pain. An orthopedic dog bed or doggie stairs to reach the bed or couch may help as well. Arthritis is a very common ailment. There is medication available to help alleviate pain and inflammation.
Weight Fluctuations as dogs age
Another sign of aging is weight gain. If your pet is not getting as much exercise and his meal size stays the same, it’s likely he might gain a little weight. The extra pound can make matters worse, so it is best to try to maintain a healthy weight. Pet obesity can lead to a lot of problems like high blood pressure, inflammation, heart disease, and joint problems. It is enjoyable to share treats and snacks with your pup, but keep in mind weight adds up. Changing your dog food to seniors and more walks can help combat weight gain.
Aging is inevitable
Annual Vet visits can help with the early detection of issues or diseases. It is easier to treat mild symptoms before they cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Although age can creep up on you, hopefully now you can recognize some of the signs of aging. With love and patience and a few adjustments getting older doesn’t have to scary or difficult for your pet. Even an older dog has moments of joy and bursts of energy, it just doesn’t happen as often and it may require a long nap afterward. But hey, naps are always good Right ?
I’m a busy blogger pet parent to my senior-aged cat Pizza. We have traveled all over Los Angeles, endured several moves, jobs, roommates and now global pandemic together. Today we write, learn, and share information and our favorite products, in hopes you can experience your best life with pets too, We currently live with other humans and their beautiful dog.