5 Signs To Watch For
Your dog used to run, jump and almost shiver with delight when you came in the door, but lately you’re lucky to get a raised ear and a tail thump. Is it just old age creeping in, or could something be wrong? Here are five signs to watch for.
1. Weight Gain
Sure, we all laugh at the thought of ‘middle age spread’ affecting us or our friends and spouses. It’s just a fact of aging, right?
Not necessarily. In a study completed by Purina, it was discovered that dogs who were overweight died 1.8 years sooner than normal weight or lean dogs.
Too much food intake without enough exercise output leads to an overwight dog, who is more likely to succumb to secondary problems affecting their energy levels, joints health and other issues that are easily avoided.
If your vet suggests your dog is overweight, take steps to correct the problem as soon as possible to enjoy a longer, healthier life with your dog.
Related Article: The Alarming Consequences of Pet Obesity You May Not Realize
2. Skin Issues
If your dog’s skin is suddenly dry, itchy and coarse, showing signs of hotspots or hair loss it could be the result of something more than dry winter air. Seasonal allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and parasites can all contribute. Your vet can help with these issues and may suggest a supplement, such as Vivamune, which is well-known to help support healthy skin, which has helped hundreds of dogs with their skin problems. Omega-3 supplementation is also beneficial for dog’s skin.
3. No More Get-Up-And-Go
It’s natural for dogs to slow down as they age, but how much is too much?
As dogs age, they can take longer to respond to simple commands and they may have to be told twice to come or heel. Some slowdown is natural, especially if you notice that your dog moves slowly and takes a minute to get into position to make a change.
If your dog has trouble standing though, or has trouble staying up once mobile, it could be a sign of joint issues. Big dogs like German Shepherds are more prone to hip or joint problems.
Some problems can be helped by addressing the root cause of discomfort, while other problems may require lifelong pain management. Your vet can help you determine preventative measures you can take.
Related article: 8 Practical Tips to Help Your Dog’s Joints Naturally
4. Doggy Breath
Dogs need to look after their teeth just like we do.
If your dog has bad breath, is suddenly drooling, or starts losing teeth, take a look at what’s going on inside.
Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the most effective way to get around this problem. If your pup won’t stand for such a thing, look for special dental toys, aimed at reducing a dog’s tartar while they chew on them.
Supporting your dog’s natural immune system can help. So can a professional tooth cleaning.
If your dog starts pacing the floor (especially at night), withdrawing from social activities, forgetting to wait until going outside to urinate, or just generally seems confused, it could be a sign that they could benefit from cognitive support.
Vets suggest that you help your dog manage age related cognitive issues by maintaining established routines – food, exercise, and play. Supplementing with antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and beta carotene can help support dogs’ cognitive functions.
While growing old is inevitable it can be done gracefully. There are many ways you can help your dog so that you can both enjoy their golden years.