What are Senior dog symptoms?
It's easy to see signs of aging in yourself, but what about your dog? As they approach their golden years, there are some tell-tale signs that can let you know if something is off with them. As a pet owner, it's important to pay attention and understand what might be going on with your dog so you can be proactive about their health. Below we've outlined some common senior dog symptoms so you'll know how best to care for them during this time of life:
Understand what's normal
- Know what's normal.
- Understand what to expect from your senior dog as he or she grows older. The average lifespan of a dog is 10 to 13 years, but each dog is different. Some dogs will live longer, and some dogs may have shorter lifespans. If you know how to tell if your senior dog is aging at a normal rate, then you can tell when there might be something wrong and take steps to help prevent health problems before they become too severe.
- A few signs that indicate that your dog may be aging include changes in behavior, decreased energy levels, weight loss or gain (especially without any change in diet), changes in sleeping habits, increased thirstiness and urination (or both), slower reflexes (such as reacting slowly when a doorbell rings), loss of balance while walking or running due to weak back legs
Watch for weight loss or gain
If you notice your senior dog losing weight or gaining it, call the vet right away. Weight loss or gain can be a sign of health problems, such as dehydration and kidney failure.
- Loss of appetite—If your dog suddenly has no interest in food, it may be because he's lost his sense of smell and taste. This can happen when dogs get older and their senses start to diminish.
- Vomiting—If your senior dog is vomiting more than usual or seems dehydrated with sunken eyes and fur that looks flaky instead of shiny, call the vet immediately; this could be a sign that there's an underlying problem like cancer or heart disease causing him pain so severe he can't keep anything down other than clear fluids for now!
Sniff out changes in behavior
Whether you are a new dog owner or have lived with your pup for years, there are a few important things to look out for that may indicate an issue. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your senior dog, it could be time to get him checked out by a vet:
- He's not as active or social: A decrease in physical activity is common as dogs age. An older dog might spend less time running around the yard, playing with toys and going on walks. He may also be less interested in interacting with other people and other pets.
- He seems uninterested in food or treats: If your old pal has been eating well but suddenly loses interest in his favorite mealtime treats—or even his regular meals—it could mean something is wrong. For example, pain from a dental disease could make chewing difficult for him which would lead to a loss of appetite (and maybe an unpleasant odor coming off of his breath).
- He's more irritable than usual: As dogs age they can become more sensitive to changes around them—something as simple as repositioning furniture can upset an older pooch who may have trouble adjusting quickly due to arthritis or other health issues like cataracts causing vision problems which make it difficult for him/her find their way around familiar surroundings easily anymore without bumping into things while walking slowly across rooms etcetera which makes some dogs unhappy!
Check for drinking and urinating more often
- If your dog is drinking more and/or urinating more frequently than normal, it may be a sign of kidney disease.
- This condition can be serious and you should take your pet to a veterinarian right away.
Keep an eye on your dog's coat and skin
The skin and coat are crucial to a dog's health, and changes in these areas can indicate an underlying problem. For example, dryness or scaling could be a sign of illness or aging; matted hair can mean your dog has been neglected; excessive shedding may mean your pet has a food allergy; greasy fur could signal an underlying medical condition; and scaly skin could point to an infection that needs treatment.
If you notice any changes in these areas, talk with your vet about them – they might just be normal signs that come with age, but they also could signal something more serious.
Notice any changes in your dog's eyes and ears
If you notice any changes in your dog's eyes or ears, it’s always best to talk to your vet.
- Eyes should be bright and clear with no discharge.
- Ears should be clean, dry and not smelly.
- The eyes should be clear and bright without any discharge from the eye or redness around the eyelids.
- The ears should be clean, dry and not smelly.
You don’t have to be a vet to see when your dog is aging. By checking them out regularly, you can catch any problems early on and get your pet the help they need before it becomes too late.