Vet Info for Pet Parents

4 Things to Watch for in Your Aging Dog

As your dog ages, you are going to notice a lot of changes. Some things though may not be as noticeable, which could be a cause of concern. To help you care for your aging dog, read on for a few signs to watch out for. 

1. Decreased Activity

You may have noticed that your dog has had a decrease in how active he is lately. He may not want to play as much as he once did, or he may not run around outside like he used to. He may not get excited about going on walks any longer either, but you need to be sure you continue to take your dog for those walks, and get your dog outside to play, even if it's just throwing the ball one time, as this exercise is important for your dog. He may not be as active, but he still needs to get some exercise.

2. Increased Confusion 

You may also notice that your dog is a bit more confused than he once was. Your dog may not know where he is in the yard, or could easily get lost when his surroundings change. He may get confused inside the house as well, such as get stuck in a room and not know how to get out. If you notice this confusion in your dog, you need to take him in for an exam. Make sure you go outside with your dog every time and that he is on a leash and has his collar on just in case.

3. Lack of Bladder Control

Keep an eye on your dog, as he may need to go outside more often as he ages. He may not be able to hold it as long as he was once able to, and he may have more accidents in the house than he ever had before. If your dog suddenly has an issue with his bladder or is having other types of accidents in the house, it's more than likely because of his age and he may also be confused.

4. Decreased Appetite

With your dog getting older, he may not eat like he used to. Your dog may have inhaled his food at one time, but nowadays, he may leave some food in the bowl. He may also have difficulty chewing if he has had oral health issues as he got older as well. If your dog is leaving some food in the bowl, try softening it a bit for him with some water, or switch to a canned food instead, which may be easier for your dog to eat.

If your dog is getting older, you are going to begin to notice some changes, or there could be some things you don't notice, but need to pay attention to. Contact an animal hospital if you have questions about helping to care for your aging dog.