Old friends: what to pay attention to when your dog is aging?

Buzgó Csilla

2023. December 5 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

A well-nourished and adequately exercised dog doesn't lose its vitality even in old age, but it can happen that certain organs are damaged with the passage of time.


Just like elderly humans, aging dog may require special care and increased attention due to his health changes. You might not even realize that certain behavioral quirks in your pet are caused by the passage of time. What could your senior four-legged friend be trying to tell you about their condition? Let’s find out!

I can’t see so well anymore!

Not every dog’s eyes weaken equally; some can see quite well even in their later years. Early vision impairment and slight haziness, with timely recognition and proper diagnosis, may still be treatable or operable.

If your pet starts becoming clumsy, can’t find a tossed ball, bumps into objects, or has trouble navigating during walks, take them to the vet! Developing the right treatment plan and seeking expert advice will help you in this changed situation.

Even if your dog is almost or completely blind, they can still lead a relatively full life if you pay attention to their needs.

Advice! Mark each room in your home with different scents and place rugs with various textures on the floor to help your pet navigate more easily!

My hearing is not the same!

Your elderly dog may not necessarily be ignoring you out of disobedience when you call. It’s possible that they hear nothing of what you’re shouting. You can make this period easier for both of you by introducing them to the world of hand signals at the initial signs of hearing loss.

Completely deaf dogs, by the way, can sense vibrations, so you can attract their attention with loud clapping.

See how this clever man gently and ingeniously wakes up his deaf and blind dog!

Watch my diet, please!

Due to metabolic disorders in older dogs, they may experience weight gain or loss. Weight gain could be attributed to Hypothyroidism or other underlying health issues. Even if your dog is eating the same amount as before, an increase in weight can be detrimental to their joints and circulation.

Changes in body weight can also occur due to intestinal worms or other parasites, and the deterioration of an older dog’s teeth may play a role as well. Pain can make eating uncomfortable for your dog. Have their teeth checked by a vet and discuss which diet might be appropriate for them!

I find it difficult to play and run around!

An elderly dog tends to rest more than bounce around, but as long as the reduced activity is due to decreased circulation and metabolism. There’s no need to worry! Joint inflammation is a painful health issue, but fortunately, it can be controlled with a few lifestyle changes.

Add antioxidant and omega-3 supplements to their food, and regularly massage your pet to increase their comfort! If the veterinarian recommends it, physiotherapy or medication may also be necessary.

Dr. Talpag Bálint veterinarian explains why it’s worth having your senior dog undergo blood tests annually and details what to expect after administering vaccinations.

My skin and coat have changed!

In this stage of life, your dog’s skin can often become dry, and his coat may lose its shine and thin out. Adding salmon or coconut oil to their food can make the coat shinier and fuller. Providing extra care for the hair that needs it. However, it’s essential to pay attention; if you notice knots or tumors while stroking your dog’s body, be sure to take them to the vet!

Due to reduced activity, your dog will also need nail trimming more frequently. The good news is that you can learn the tricks of this yourself.

I am not as mentally fresh as I used to be!

It might be that your dog simply forgets certain rules. Or due to senior nervousness, they react differently to certain stimuli. Many dogs at this advanced age start to be wary of forming new connections, or conversely, separation anxiety may develop.

If you happen to catch your pet relieving themselves in a forbidden place, don’t scold him. He might be struggling with urinary issues and need medical assistance!

However aging manifests in your dog, patience, helpfulness, and lots of love are crucial to remain the noble owner he has always looked up to during this period!

aging old old dog vet veterinarian

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