There a lot of questions that dog owners may ask when their dogs become seniors, such as we should change our habits towards our dog? when exactly does a dog become a senior? what types of changes we should expect?
Vision issue with senior dogs often comes on slowly and owners don’t notice that something is wrong until the issue is in its severe stages. It is common for a senior dog to have some troubles with vision. while some problems can be corrected, like issues of wear and tear. Other age-related issues are retinal degeneration and cataracts.
In some cases, some dogs may experience a clouding of the eye lens. This issue can begin early at the age of 7 and become worse as the dog ages. Often, owners won’t notice it until the age of 10 or 11 years old. This age-related issue is referred to as nuclear sclerosis and for some dogs, it will develop into a cataract.
If you find that your dog is suffering from any clouding, the dog should be examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist who will keep an eye on things. Surgery can correct this issue, if it does become severe and moderately to severely affects the ability to see.
There are other possible issues that a senior can face when he become senior such as retinal disease and glaucoma. Additionally, a worsening of vision is a change that has no solid treatment that you should expect. for example, your dog may not be able to see as far.
When your dog is having trouble seeing, you should keep the layout of the house the same, Keep floor clutter to a minimum.in addition, you have to keep in mind that for dogs with vision issues, exposure to a new environment or situation may cause stress.
If your senior dog doesn’t suffer from any medical issue that would limit his or her activity, keep his daily walks for good health and longevity.
Do keep in mind that your senior dog will need 2 shorter walks per day as opposed to what may have been 1 long daily walk, and he or she needs to walk at a slower pace as he ages and may not be as nimble, but keeping up with outside activity is a must for the body and good for the mind.
Most of the dogs at the age of 8,9, and 10 years old will not show any signs of incontinence, however, it is common in older seniors of 11 years and up. This condition can be caused by the weakening of the bladder and/or bowel muscles. Some changes must take place as the dog ages.
Here are some tips that can help:
+Bring your dog outside more often.
+ you should give your dog last evening meal at an earlier time if he or she has problems late or in the middle of the night.
+give your dog more time for bowel movements.
Playfulness and behavioral changes
As the dog ages, he will certainly not have the active playfulness of puppies. seniors dogs as you will notice will have a tendency to want to rest and relax away from the noise. so it’s very important that a dog must have his own spot.
The corner of the room is the preferred place for some senior dogs, where they can still feel like part of the family but also where they can relax.
Senior dogs are known to take more frequent naps. The senior dogs should have to sleep areas which must be close to their owners-maybe adding one in the corner of the living room where a tired, older dog can have a rest but still close to his human friends.
Older dogs as you may notice have a lower tolerance for young children. Too much noise and too much touching may be the cause of stress. As the leader of the pack, you have to explain to the children the needs and limits f a senior dog.
At what age does a dog become a senior?
The answer to this question will vary depending on who you speak to. Normally, dogs become seniors between the age of 7 and 10. What makes the difference?
The size of the breed is what makes the difference, there 5 sizes: toy, Small, medium, large, giant. In addition, the life span of the dog is a part of the answer to the question when the dog becomes a senior.
toy size has a very long life expectancy so for this reason, he is going to become a senior around the age of 10, with a range of between the ages of 9 and 12 years old.
Sometimes your veterinarian will tell you when your dog has indeed transitioned from adult to senior if the vet has taken care of your dog for many years.
What you have to keep in mind whether or not your vet has officially started or whether or not your dog is running around, at the age o 10-year-old mark, you must be ready for some changes.
Changes that should take place with the veterinarian
We will cover the physical and behavioral changes that occur from the age of 10 until the dog has reached the end of his life span.
When your dog is developing health issues, it not because of his or her age it’s a question of cautionary medicine in order to catch issues early, by this may we have the chance for quick treatment and excellent recovery.
as your dog ages, plenty of changes are going to be occurring from the age of 10 on, so it’s very important that your dog have a wellness checkup at least once a year and preferably 2 times a year.
Testing and examination will look for early signs of :
Testicular cancer (for male dogs that have not been neutered)
Uterus cancer (for female dogs that have not been spayed)
As you can notice from the list above, senior dogs also can face many health issues that humans can develop at an older age. some dogs may never have any of these issues, many will-for this reason wellness checks are very important.
Senior Dental care
The owner must start the dental cleaning of their pets at the age of 8 weeks old in order to set the foundation for a healthy adult set.
Dental care is very important for senior dogs, as an owner try to avoid the mindset of”well he’s older now, it doesn’t matter as much”
Older dogs are easily prone to infection and tooth issues than ever.
Do keep in mind that when a senior dog loses teeth which leads to difficulty eating, and it is so sad.
Food and supplement changes for senior dog
Timing to change to the senior commercial food will vary depending on the dog.
Ask your veterinarian when you must to take this decision, because he will give you timing based on some factors such as your dog’s health, weight, size, and activity level. For some dogs the changeover will start at the age of 8, for others, it will take place at 9,10 or even 11 years old.
Giving Food for senior dogs must respect some rules like: it must have lower fat content and a bit higher in fiber, the level of the protein must be the same. But it depends on medical issues to change your dog’s diet.
When your dog is 12 years and on, he may have trouble eating dry kibble. So, home-cooked food or a combination of wet food and kibble can help. Try to make some changes that will keep your dog eating his daily recommended meals.
Timing-Its recommended for a senior dog to eat 2 meals or 3 depending on the dog’s stomach and digestive system.
When a dog is approaching his senior years, glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can make a huge difference.it helps to prevent joint issues.
You May Also Like: