Canine Aging: 7 Older Dog Health Questions

If you have an elderly dog, you may have certain dog health questions. Canine aging is not a pleasant subject, but if you know what to expect you can deal with all the health problems that may occur in your pet or try to prevent them.

1. What Are the Most Frequent Senior Dog Health Issues?

Senior dogs are more prone to certain issues:

  • Arthritis is the swelling of joints and causes extreme pain in dogs; a dog with arthritis will be unable to perform regular tasks such as jumping, running or walking; obese dogs are more susceptible to arthritis
  • Heart condition, due to the weakening of the heart valves and blood vessels
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory problems, which may be related to the heart condition
  • Tooth decay; dogs with tooth decay will be in a lot of pain and tooth extraction may be needed
  • Gum disease, due to calculus deposits; the gums may be receding and allowing bacteria to enter the blood stream, so the dog will be more susceptible to infections
  • Diabetes, due to elevated blood sugar; may be caused by a diet with carbs in excess or obesity and lack of exercise
  • Weakened immune system, which will make the dog more susceptible to viruses and diseases
  • Hearing and vision problems

2. Why Is My Dog Eliminating in the House?

Improper elimination may be due to kidney or bladder problems. On the other hand, if your dog has vision or smell issues he may also urinate or defecate in the house.

3. Why Does My Dog Have Insomnia?

Insomnia may be due to pain or to the need to urinate. Senior dogs typically urinate more frequently, which is due to kidney, bladder or prostate issues.

4. How Will My Dog’s Behavior Change?

A senior dog may experience behavioral changes. A gentle dog may become aggressive or a fiercer dog can become calmer.

The dog may also be more stressed and fearful and can be more irritable, but this is mainly due to a medical condition.

Visit the vet if you notice alarming symptoms.

Offer more affection to a senior dog, as he needs it.

5. What Is the Recommended Diet?

Elderly dogs should switch to a different diet. Vets recommend wet food, as it is easier to digest. However, the diet of your dog will be dictated by his medical condition. Your vet may recommend a prescription diet.

6. Should I Get Supplements?

Senior dogs may need supplements, but consult your vet before administering any vitamins or minerals, to make sure these won’t interfere with your dog’s medical condition or medication.

Immunity boosters and antioxidants can be prescribed.

7. How Can I Prevent Elderly Dog Health Problems?

Some elderly dog health problems may be prevented if your dog is fit and has a healthy diet. Obese dogs are more exposed to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Regular grooming will help in the early detection of disease symptoms, while daily teeth brushing will prevent tooth decay and gum disease. 

Visit your vet for regular checkups to make sure your dog is in good health.