Physical and Behavioral Changes
Aging dogs will sometimes change their normal behavior. He may become restless at night, and start soiling the carpets. They often have fears and phobias as they age. There are a few things you can do to improve their restlessness. Take your dog for a walk to get rid of their energy. Excessive barking is another common problem found in the aging dog. Your aging dog may be experiencing separation anxiety. Aging dogs often lose their hearing and start overeating. Take care that your pet doesn’t gain excessive weight. Antler dog chews can help your aging dog relax and unwind.
How to Feed
When your dog reaches 10 to 12 years of age, then there are body composition changes. The goal is to feed an older dog enough to maintain health. Health issues often include loss of muscle mass, changes in the coat and skin and dental problems. Your older dog also has a greater chance for infection. Make sure your aging dog’s food is rich in protein. Routine visits to the veterinarian will help you stay on top of health problems.
Most diseases that occur within older dogs have symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or cloudy pupils. This can be the sign of cataracts which can limit your dog’s vision. Look for frequent, painful attempts to urinate, since this can be a sign of a serious bladder infection. Bladder stones is a common disease found in aging dogs. Loss of bladder control may indicate kidney disease or failure. This can be life-threatening to your dog. If your dog seems to be losing weight, then you will need to consult with your veterinarian. Sudden weight-loss can be a sign of diabetes and result in malnutrition.
Your aging dog may become less active than in the past. Shorter walks will give your dog enough exercise to be comfortable. Keep your dog groomed by brushing his coat every day. This will make your aging dog feel more comfortable. Stick to your dog’s normal routine, and don’t leave him alone for long periods of time.