As much as we try to deny it, dogs – like humans – age. And as they get older, their health starts to deteriorate. But, there are ways to tell when your dog is aging – and ways you can help slow the aging process. Here are 10 signs your pup is aging and what you can do about it.
They Aren’t As Quick As They Once Were
Slowing down is a common sign of aging. If they aren’t as quick as they once were, it could be a sign of early arthritis or thyroid issues. Reach out to your veterinarian if you notice your pup has been slower than normal.
Dogs tend to gain weight as they age. While it may just be because they are slowing down, it could also be a sign of a more serious problem – like a thyroid issue. While you should check with your veterinarian, it could be as easy as switching them to a low calorie diet or feeding them less.
Having A Difficult Time Getting Up
If your pup isn’t getting up after sitting or lying down for long periods of time – especially on harder surfaces – they may be suffering from joint pain or issues. Another sign of a joint problem is difficulty staying on their feet. Joint supplements – like glucosamine – can help, but talk with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any supplements.
They Are No Longer Responding To You
Is your dog not responding when you call them? You may think they are just being stubborn, but they may be losing their hearing. A vet can help confirm or deny the prognosis, but if they are losing their hearing, you can learn hand signals and teach them to respond to those.
Increased Bathroom Breaks
Dogs tend to need to go to the bathroom more as they age. If they begin to have accidents in the house, you may need to increase the frequencies of their bathroom break throughout the day or leave pee pads down when you leave the house. But, be sure to speak with your veterinarian to ensure it’s not something more serious like a bladder infection.
Their Eyes Are Cloudy
This sign may not always be the easiest to spot, but it’s an important one. Most dogs tend to develop eye cloudiness as they age – known as nuclear sclerosis – but cloudy eyes can also be a sign of cataracts, which require treatment. Contact your vet if you spot any cloudiness in your pups eyes.
Poor Coat Condition
If you notice your dog has itchy skin, a dry coat, flakes, hot spots, or hair loss, something may be wrong. Poor skin and coat quality can mean a multitude of medical issues so talk with your veterinarian if you notice anything wrong with your dog’s coat.
You Notice Lumps
Lumps can be terrifying – especially since they can indicate something is wrong. But, if you frequently check for lumps on your aging pup, you can find them – and take care of them – sooner. Short-hair dogs have more noticeable lumps while dogs with longer coats will need more and thorough checks. The only way to know if a lump is serious is by visiting with your veterinarian.
They Are Generally Slow To Do Something
If your typically obedient dog takes longer to sit than normal, it’s a sign of aging. Things your dog used to do – like sit, lay down, jump, etc. – tend to be more difficult as they age. If you notice your dog isn’t walking as well as they used to, try using a pet stroller. You’ll help alleviate the possible pain of walking but they’ll still be able to get their daily dose of vitamin D.
One of the most common signs of aging is bad breath. While most dogs don’t have the best breath to begin with, if it smells worse than usual, don’t ignore it. Pups as young as three can develop dental disease, so don’t wait to visit your veterinarian. The longer you wait, the worse it’ll get. In the meantime, you can give them special dental chews or even try brushing their teeth with a specialized toothbrush and toothpaste.
Be on the lookout for these 10 signs of aging - even though you can’t stop aging, you can certainly help slow it down!