Like all of us, our pet dogs get older. Although we want to see them as our furry pups forever, our dog will have birthdays, grow up and grow old with us. We have to pay attention to the common ageing signs in dogs so we can help them go through this phase safely and gracefully.
Here Are 5 Common Aging Signs In Dogs
Deteriorating eyesight is a part of the ageing process. Dogs will start showing signs of eye discomfort. They may develop cloudiness in their eyes, a condition called “nuclear sclerosis”. It won’t necessarily affect their vision, but they may lose their ability to focus on nearby objects. They may begin bumping into things and falling.
Other eye-related issues include the decreased ability to see in the dark or even in extremely bright light. Although ageing may be the cause of these vision problems, it’s still best to take them to the vet. They can diagnose other eye illnesses such as cataracts, glaucoma, corneal damage, dry eye syndrome or conjunctivitis.
One of the first organs to wear out as dogs get older are the kidneys. Their bladder loses elasticity, and this may cause urinary incontinence. Unregulated diabetes can also cause increased urination.
Strained or painful urination may be a sign of urinary tract infection, a condition commonly seen in middle-aged and older dogs. Fortunately, prescription dog medication or dietary changes can alleviate this condition.
3. Lumps, Bumps and Skin
Older dogs are more susceptible to having skin and coat issues. They may have rashes, dry skin, hair loss, lesions or swelling.
It is also common to find mass under the skin, lipomas or fatty growths which are usually benign. However, pay close attention to lumps that change shape, colour and size. Your vet should immediately evaluate them to rule out any severe conditions.
Joint issues such as arthritis are one of the common ageing signs in dogs. It affects one in every five dogs. Arthritis is caused by the wearing out of cartilage that connects bones and joints. They may have difficulties performing their usual activities like playing fetch and running. Getting around the house and standing up from laying down can also be challenging.
5. Behaviour Changes
Changes in behaviour is a normal part of dog aging. If your dog exhibits signs of confusion, being disoriented, restlessness and unusual pacing, they may have dog dementia or Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.
Other specific signs of this condition are difficulty sleeping, staying awake or pacing at night, urinary accidents and forgetting cues like ‘stay’ or ‘sit’ that they once knew.
The ageing of our pets is inevitable. What we can do is to pay attention to the changes in their behaviour and be extra patient, understanding, and compassionate. During these years in their lives, we need to show them that we love them more than ever.
Read more helpful tips about taking care of your beloved dogs HERE.