Time flies, we don’t necessarily realize it because we live with our dog on a daily basis, but he ages faster than we do. A small dog is considered senior from 8 to 10 years old, a larger dog from 5 to 7 years old. There are many ways to bring a good quality of life to older dogs today. The important thing is to act in prevention and to take into account the well-being of your dog …
Recognize the signs of aging
There is no specific sign of aging, but there are many signs of more common conditions in older animals.
Although osteoarthritis is not necessarily related to the age of the animal, it affects a number of older dogs. A dog as it ages can present locomotor difficulties, a decrease in mobility, stiffness, a reluctance to walks …
Drinking can increase due to certain illnesses: we speak of polyuropydydipsia when a dog drinks more than normal (and urinates more than normal).
Hair and skin can also be affected: duller hair, drier or oily skin, white hair, appearance of warts, small masses, etc.
The vision can decrease because of an opacification of the crystalline lens linked to the aging of this one, one speaks about cataract of the old dog.
Behavior can also be modified, we speak of confusional syndrome linked to age when the dog no longer responds well to stimuli from its environment (he remains apathetic despite requests to play, interact, etc.), sleeps a lot, loses his points of reference, loses learning, presents anxiety…
Pamper older animals
It is very important to ensure the maintenance of an ideal weight in the elderly animal (as at any age, but it must not be said that this does not matter any more especially!).
In fact, being overweight aggravates a lot of ailments (harmful effects on the joints for example).
Weight loss should also alarm, it is not normal in an aging animal and should alert to a medical cause to be sought.
It is essential to give the elderly dog a balanced ration adapted to his needs as an elderly animal.
Foods containing antioxidants for example or polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 can bring a real plus to the elderly dog.
Certain food supplements can also be added to the ration in older dogs, be careful not to look for a miraculous cocktail. The needs of each dog must be clinically assessed.
It is important to continue playing, going out and walking an elderly dog, he still needs a special relationship with you, cognitive expenses, attentions, etc.
Regular follow-up with the attending veterinarian makes it possible to detect signs of disease as early as possible and to set up treatment soon enough.
It is also important to continue to have your dog vaccinated by following an appropriate and reasoned vaccination protocol established with your veterinarian.
And above all your elderly dog needs kindness and support, your presence. Surround him with all your love ?