Aging is a natural part of life for dogs and humans alike. As your dog starts to get older, they may take more naps, their coat may start to go gray, and their pace may slow. When you start to notice changes to your senior dog’s appearance and behavior, it is important to help your dog feel their best while watching out for indicators of serious health concerns.
If your dog is overweight, it can exacerbate health problems like arthritis and increase your dog’s risk of developing other complications, like heart disease. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s calorie requirements and adjust their diet based on these recommendations.
While your dog may just move slower as they get older, if they start to limp or seem stiff, arthritis could be the cause. Your dog could have arthritis if they have a hard time getting up or down, show a decreased interest in playing, jumping, or running, have a difficult time squatting to use the bathroom, or seem sensitive to petting.
Your dog may become more anxious or forgetful as they age. While cognitive decline is a normal part of getting older for dogs, it can also be related to other health conditions, like Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), which is like Alzheimer’s for dogs.
Vision and Hearing Loss
Your dog may start to experience gradual changes to their hearing and vision, so you may not even notice vision and hearing loss becoming a problem. While dogs will adjust to using their other senses, your dog could have major hearing and vision loss if they ignore your cues, no longer make eye contact, bump into furniture or walls, or ignore sounds that used to be exciting.