Getting old is not fun!

When we bring home a new puppy (or even adopt an older dog), we are excited to add a new member family and never consider that they, too, will grow old one day.  Every dog ages differently, but there are a few changes that veterinarians tend to see in older dogs. Some of these common signs of canine aging include:older dogs

  • Hearing loss:   As dogs age, the nerve cells and hearing apparatus degenerates, resulting in a slow loss of hearing.
  • Vision loss:   The lens of the eye becomes cloudy with age. Natural changes result in lenticular sclerosis, which typically does not cause significant vision loss. However, cataracts may develop, which also interferes with vision.
  • Decreased activity:   As dogs age, their metabolic rate slows and as a result, they become less active.
  • Weight gain:   Elderly dogs require 30 to 40 percent fewer calories. So simply eating a normal maintenance diet, often causes obesity.
  • Infections:   As the body ages, the immune system weakens, making it harder for your dog to ward off infections.

All of these changes are common as dogs age and with careful attention from a loving owner, they are easy to manage. It’s very important to maintain good routine care in your dog’s golden years and have your dog evaluated twice annually by the veterinarian.

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