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8 Tips for Aging Dogs

aging dog los lunas vet
Image by Robert Hell from Pixabay

Getting older is hard for all of us. Dog’s are not different than us in the sense that as they get older they have more issues. Here is a list of common issues that our older dogs may experience.

1. Hearing and Vision Loss

What did you say? Can you see that? As dog’s get older their hearing and vision get worse. A lot of old dogs will go completely deaf or blind. You may have seen the older dog with cloudy eyes, those are called cataracts. Most people get those removed, and though you can get them removed in dogs, since they rely more on their sense of smell, sight isn’t as important to them for moving around their environment. For hearing, outside of cleaning their ears, there isn’t much you can do but adjust your own behavior. Your dog may stop responding to your voice as much and you may need to get their attention by touching them or making a vibration on a surface.

2. My Aching Bones

As dogs get older they develop joint pain and stiffness. This is typically caused by osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, it is progressive and causes the cartilage to slowly wear away. There are treatments that can slow the disease or help treat the discomfort. Nutrition plays a big role in managing the disease and a diet plan should be discussed with your Los Lunas vet. Getting your dog up and moving is also a great way to work out some of the stiffness. Just remember that it might take them a bit longer to get moving than it used to.

3. Dementia

Yes, dogs can get dementia. This can be really hard to figure out until they are pretty far gone into confusion and disorientation. If you notice your older dog barking or whining for no reason, getting lost in your house, bathroom accidents, or not knowing you, these are signs of dementia. It is best to talk to your local vet about how best to treat it.

4. The Big C

Cancer is one of the biggest killers of dog’s. If you notice strange lumps and bumps, it is a good idea to get them checked out. There are treatments for cancer, typically it’s chemotherapy. You should speak to your local vet about the best course of action to address cancer in your older dog.

5. He’s All Heart

Heart disease is a common problem in older dogs. If you notice your dog having difficulty breathing, an intolerance to exercise, losing consciousness, or unexplained vomiting, these can all be signs of heart disease. If you have any of these symptoms you need to take your older dog to the vet right away.

6. Obesity

A fat dog has a shorter lifespan. If your dog is overweight this will have a significant impact on their health. It is harder on their bones and joints, making osteoarthritis more painful, puts them at higher risk of heart disease, and at higher risk for certain types of cancer. Discuss your dog’s weight with your vet to make sure they are on the right diet plan.

7. Guts and Poops

Gastrointestinal issues are really common as your dog gets older (as you get older too…eeek!). Sometimes GI issues can be signs of more serious issues and other times it can just be old age. If your dog is having accidents and can’t make it outside, after getting them evaluated by your local vet, consider getting puppy pads so they don’t have to walk as far. Consider altering their diet to better accommodate their changing GI needs. Your Los Lunas vet will be able to help you come up with a plan that will work for you and your dog.

8. Kidney Issues

Kidney issues can become deadly very quickly. Thankfully, when spotted, they can also be treated. When you get your annual exam it is a good idea to have their kidney’s checked out and you may want to consider having a exam every six months.

Old dogs are the best. They have spent a lifetime with us and filled our minds and hearts with amazing memories. As your dog gets older just make sure to help him do it in a way that is easier on him.

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com

Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.