As our dogs age, we begin to see changes in their appearance and behaviour. While many of these changes are normal as a dog enters their golden years, it's important to be aware of the signs that could indicate your furry friend is unwell. Here at Scarsdale we have put together a list of seven signs that your dog is ageing, so that you can be proactive in monitoring their health and ensure they're living a full and happy life.
1.Your dog is slowing down and getting stiff
You may have seen from time to time your dog is taking a little longer to get up in the mornings, or they have more trouble with stairs or jumping up onto furniture, this could be a sign of stiffness. This could be a sign they are suffering from arthritis, which is quite common in ageing dogs as 80% of dogs over 8 suffer from it.
2. Your dog has trouble hearing or seeing
It can sometimes be tricky to decide whether your dog is losing their hearing or deciding to ignore you, but it could be a sign if your pooch always comes running for a treat! Loss of hearing isn’t something you should particularly worried about if they’re not experiencing pain or discomfort, but you may want to take extra care taking them off the lead.
3. Your dog is losing muscle mass
Thinks links to number 1, as it is key muscle mass is kept to keep them active and bouncy for as long as possible. Keeping your dog active with exercise and adjusting their diet would be the best actions to take moving forward
4. Smelly Breath
A whiffy breath could be one of the first things you spot as a dog mum or dad, and this could be a sign of gum diseases, which can become more severe with age. You may also see tartar developing around their teeth if you are in the habit of monthly mouth checks.
5. Sight Loss
Although this may be very gradual over time, you may notice your dog loses track of the ball during a game of fetch, or maybe lose a stick and come back with a completely different one! You may also see their eyes have a bluey white shine in their eyes, this could be nuclear sclerosis and is normal for older dogs.
6. Your dog is eating and drinking less than usual.
If you notice your dog leaving food in their bowl consistently, this could be a sign of a behavioural change in their eating. Older dogs may be less efficient digesting food, leading them to leave pieces of their meals. On the other side if the scale, older dogs can tend to have a slower metabolism, meaning they could gain weight too!
7. Grey Hairs
Many dog breeds will grow grey hairs and become a ‘silver fox’ as they start to age gracefully. Most commonly this can be seen around the mouth but this is completely normal for dogs as they age.
If you have noticed any of these signs in your dog and would like more information and advice for preventative measures, come to our Senior Pet Talk at Pride Veterinary Centre on March 24th at 7pm. Tickets can be booked online via our Eventbrite page: www.seniorpettalk.eventbrite.co.uk