10 Signs Your Dog Is Getting Older

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As our dogs get older, they may show certain signs that tell us they’re entering their senior years. It’s important to recognize these signs so we can take care of them properly. Here are the signs that your dog is getting older!

Grey Hair

Black Tan and White Short Coated Dog
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Just like people, dogs can develop grey hairs as they age. Usually, you will notice these grey hairs around their face, particularly around their muzzle, eyes, and even on their eyebrows. This change in hair color is a natural part of the aging process and is often referred to as “going grey.”

Less Energy

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As dogs enter their senior years, they tend to slow down and become less active. You may notice that your once playful and energetic dog now prefers longer periods of rest and relaxation. They might not have the same enthusiasm for activities like chasing balls or going on long walks.

Trouble Moving

Tan and White Short Coat Dog Laying Down in a Brown Wooden Floor
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Arthritis and joint problems are common among older dogs. These conditions can cause stiffness and discomfort, making it difficult for them to move with the same ease as they did when they were younger. You might also notice your dog taking longer to stand up or lie down or be hesitant to jump onto furniture or climb stairs.

Changes in Eating

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Older dogs may experience changes in their eating habits. Some may have a reduced appetite and eat less than they used to, while others might develop an increased appetite. Dental problems, like gum disease or tooth decay, can make eating uncomfortable, leading to decreased interest in food. Additionally, underlying health issues or medications they’re taking may also affect their appetite.

Weight Changes

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Weight fluctuations are common in aging dogs. Some pups may experience weight gain due to a slower metabolism or reduced activity levels. At the same time, other dogs may lose weight due to dental problems, digestive issues, or underlying health conditions. Monitoring their weight and adjusting their diet accordingly, in consultation with your veterinarian, can help maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being.

Tooth Problems

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Dental issues become more prevalent as dogs age. Plaque build-up, tartar, tooth decay, and gum disease can cause discomfort and potentially lead to tooth loss. Bad breath and reluctance to eat hard food can be signs of dental problems. Regular dental care, such as tooth brushing, dental chews, and professional cleanings, can help prevent or manage these issues.

Different Behavior

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Senior dogs may exhibit changes in their behavior. Some become more anxious, looking for more reassurance or experiencing separation anxiety. Others may become more irritable or easily startled due to sensory changes, such as hearing or sight loss. Cognitive decline can also result in confusion or disorientation.

Vision and Hearing Loss

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Like humans, dogs may experience a decline in vision and hearing as they age. They may develop cloudy or hazy eyes, have difficulty seeing objects or obstacles, or show signs of bumping into things. Hearing loss may result in a lack of response to sounds or becoming more startled by sudden noises. Try to create an environment that accommodates these changes and offers extra support and guidance when needed.

Increased Urination

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As dogs age, they may experience an increased frequency of urination. This can occur due to natural changes in bladder control that come with aging or as a result of developing conditions like urinary tract infections or bladder stones. If you notice your older dog having accidents indoors or exhibiting signs of restlessness or discomfort, it is important to seek veterinary advice.

Less Interest in Play

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Senior dogs may gradually lose interest in vigorous playtime activities they enjoyed in their younger years. They might prefer shorter and less intense play sessions or light activities like sniffing around the yard or exploring at a slower pace.