As dogs age, you will begin to notice changes in their behavior

As dogs age, you will begin to notice changes in their behavior. The changes may be very subtle or pronounced and as a dog owner you should pay special attention to any changes to avoid any potential health problems from developing further down the road.

A dog’s needs may change with time and observing your pet should help you preempt any problems related to old age. Your dog may change both mentally and physically. Many pet owners feel that certain changes in behavior are to be expected with age, but this is not necessarily so, there are things you can do to help your pet feel more comfortable as he ages.

Some dogs slow down dramatically as the years creep up on them whereas others retain their puppy-like behavior for life. The majority of dogs show their aging by becoming less reluctant to play. If your dog seems uninterested in activities he usually seems to like you should investigate further, never chalk it down to aging. If your dog becomes stiff or hesitant when moving or getting up, there are things you can do to make him more comfortable. Your vet would be able to recommend some medication and light exercise to help keep him limber.

Any sudden weight changes should not be taken lightly. If your dog experiences a sudden change in weight you should consult with your vet immediately as this could be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your pet. You should always keep a record of your dog’s current weight to help with medication and dosages anyway. Keep tabs on your dog’s eating and drinking habits. Make sure your dog is drinking adequately otherwise he could become dehydrated. Excessive drinking is almost always a sign something is wrong and shouldn’t be ignored. If your dog’s water intake increases you should take him to the vet for a checkup. Excessive drinking can be a sign of renal failure which is a very common ailment in older dogs.

You should also have your dog’s eyes examined because as dogs age, they develop conditions like glaucoma and dry eye. You can help keep your dog more comfortable by discovering these problems at an early stage and treating them. If your dog appears to be “out of it” don’t put that down to age related senility, it could be a sign that he is suffering from kidney or liver disease. Just because your dog is getting older, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean he will become senile. Again, your vet should be able to diagnose any health related issues in your pet.

If you’re considering changing your dog’s diet for any reason this should be done gradually as an older dog’s digestive system may not be able to cope with sudden dietary changes. Keep an eye on your dog’s bowl movements to make sure he doesn’t develop constipation or diarrhea.

Regular checkups at the vet will ensure you give your dog the best possible chance at living a long and healthy life throughout his lifespan. Your dog may be getting older, but there is no reason he should be acting old.

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