Recognize Signs That Your Pet is Getting Old
Thanks to modern veterinary medicine, our pets can live a longer, healthier life than they did 20 to 30 years ago. However, as dog owners, we must recognize that as our dogs age, we are faced with new challenges and responsibilities.
We often notice the changes in our aging pets before they do. Aside from the obvious signs of aging, namely gray hair on his nose and face, you may also notice some subtle, not too serious, changes in his behavior. He may:
- Walk a little slower
- Have a hard time getting in the car
- Have slower reflexes
- Not eat as much, or as enthusiastically, as usual
- Gain a little weight even though he’s not eating as much
- May not hear you when you call him even though you’re five feet away from him
Those symptoms are normal effects of aging. However, you might also notice a few more behaviors that might be a bit more troubling:
- His eyes don’t have the sparkle they once had.
- He may run into doors or walls occasionally.
- He may develop really bad teeth and breath (worse than normal).
- He may have accidents in the house.
- He may develop lumps on and below his skin.
No one likes to watch their dog get old. The important thing to remember is that he has been your loyal companion and friend and that he doesn’t understand what’s going on with the body. He needs you to look out for him – to be aware of his changing conditions – and do all you can to make his “golden” years as comfortable as possible.