Dog Aging Symptoms

Dog aging happens gradually and if you monitor your pet, you will be able to detect a few signs. Dogs are considered senior after the age of 7 or 8, but you may expect to see changes starting from the age of 5 or 6. Noticing these aging symptoms should prompt you to talk with your vet and decide on a new diet and possible changes that can help your dog and prevent age-related problems.

More Sleeping Hours

More sleeping hours and decreased activity are clear signs your pet is getting older. Allow your pet to rest, but try to engage him in different activities to prevent obesity and depression. If your pet has arthritis, make sure to choose activities that have low impact on the joints. You can talk to the vet to get a different type of food that could make your pet more active and also get a few supplements.

Gray Hair

Not only people get gray hair. Gray hair is an aging symptom in your dog. If he has lighter coat, this will become even lighter in color. If your pet has darker coat, you will see the gray hair.

Moving Difficulties

Dogs that start aging may have moving difficulties, which are mainly due to arthritis and joint problems. The joints can get swollen and this will make it painful for the dog to move. Notice if the dog hesitates to stand up or to jump over fences. Arthritis and joint swelling can worsen if the dog is obese, so keep your dog in a good shape and get a few bone supplements or glucosamine chew treats.

Behavioral Changes

A change in the dog's behavior may be due to a number of health problems, but may simply be because the dog is getting older. The dog's personality will not change, but he may become more stubborn and less affectionate. These changes may be because of possible health problems and pain.

Bad Breath

As the dog gets older, his breath may become worse. This is due to tooth and gum problems. Tooth decay and gum disease may occur after the age of 3, and a lot of dogs are affected by severe tooth problems. Tooth and gum problems may be prevented by maintaining proper oral hygiene and washing the dog's teeth. Dry treats are also beneficial, along with a kibble diet. Visit the vet for a professional dental cleaning once every 12 months.

Changes in the Consistency of Feces

Frequent constipation or diarrhea may be common in aging dogs. This can be due to the fact that the intestines are gradually losing their tone. Get some fiber supplements or mineral oils, which can tone up the intestines and work on the consistency of the feces.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is frequent in aging dogs and may be due to:

  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Kidney damage
  • Prostate problems in male dogs

This problem may be solved with medication or some natural supplements.