A dog is considered a senior when they hit seven years of age. Some dogs, like the Great Dane, are considered seniors a lot earlier because their life expectancy is 7-8 years. It depends on the size, and the breed, but you can tell your family pet is getting old when they start to slow down and sleep more. Here are the most common health issues in senior dogs to look out for.
This is more common in larger dogs, but most dogs start to develop joint pains regardless of breed. Loss of lubrication and the wearing away of cartilage can cause pain and discomfort. There is no current cure for joint problems in dogs, but there are a few things you can do to prevent disease, or ease their pain. Adequate nutrition and daily walks can help to slow degenerative joint issues, while veterinary pain medication can reduce pain.
Congestive heart disease is very common in seniors, and a lot of it has to do with nutrition. Easing up on heavy meat products can help with this problem in the long term. However, if fluid starts to fill in the heart, or lungs, you may need to operate on your pet.
Difficulty breathing, coughing, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness and exercise intolerance are signs of potential heart failure. Getting insurance ahead of time can ease the cost of potential heart complications. Read PetPlan reviews to find out more about their plans.
Obesity can rear its ugly head early in your dog’s life, so it’s essential to start good habits early. Only feed your dog at specific times of the day, don’t feed them table scraps, and give them the vet recommended amount. Although obesity can cause a lot of problems, it can also aggravate other diseases like joint pain and heart disease. Exercise your pup often!
Kidney failure can’t be cured, and you would need to operate if the problem gets too severe. It’s best to prevent anything bad before it happens. Unfortunately, kidney failure is often caused by the heart medication we give our pups, so preventing heart disease also prevents kidney disease.
Take your dog to the vet often to check their blood work, and pay attention to what you’re feeding them. Seriously, most of your senior dogs’ problems come from what you feed them. It’s extra important to give them the best food possible.
It’s sad to think about, but your pet could eventually forget who you are. If you notice your dog having multiple accidents in the house, barking randomly, getting lost in familiar surroundings, or is often confused they probably have dementia. Once your dog has it, there’s no cure, so seek measures to prevent the disease. As always, adequate nutrition will prevent dementia.
Hearing and Vision Loss
It’s common for all dogs to lose hearing and vision as they age. Vision loss is more prominent. Look into your pups eyes, and if you see cloudiness, they’re starting to go blind. If you notice your dog isn’t coming when you’re calling them anymore, they may not hear you. Dogs rely more on their smell than any other sent, so it’s not as detrimental to dogs to lose their hearing or vision like it is for us. Clean your dog’s ears often, and check for ear mites as they can damage your dog’s inner ear canal.