When a dog ages, its body begins to change. Its organs become affected by the aging process so it is important to know what signs to look for in order to help identify any problems.
Is my pet considered old?
Not all dogs age at the same speed. It depends on your dog’s breed and size. There are also variations according to each individual and his way of life.
- Small breeds have a longer life expectancy (14-18 years old) and they are considered to be senior around 10 years of age.
- Medium breed dogs are considered to be senior by the age of 8-9 years old and generally have a life expectancy of 12-14 years.
- Larger dogs are considered to be senior by the age of 6-7 years old (around 5 years old for giant breeds) and unfortunately have a shorter life expectancy (8-10 years)
As in humans, the aging of your companion is accompanied by changes in his body. For dogs, aging results in joint problems, weakening of the kidneys, a “lazy” bowel, a dull coat, poor dental health, and increased sensitivity to stress and diseases. Providing senior dogs with a food that has been specifically formulated for them is paramount when it comes to keeping them happy, comfortable and healthy for as long as possible.
Often times, a dog’s death has been attributed to “old age”; however, the weakening of one or more organs can often be treated with a proper diet and the help of your veterinarian.
Vision loss can also be a common occurrence in elderly pets. Most often, the culprit is cataracts. A cataract is caused by a change in the structure of the lens that appears around 9 or 10 years. The most obvious sign is the presence of a blue or white veil covering your dog’s eye. He will become less sure of himself and sometimes even bump into things. It is advisable to consult your veterinarian if you notice any vision loss.