Aging is a natural process that changes your dog’s body in a lot of ways, especially its metabolism. Here’s
As a dog owner, you might not notice at first that your dog has already started to age because it happens so slowly.
But there are a few things you can do to tell if your dog is getting old and some things you can do to slow the ageing process in dogs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Slow path to dog senior
- 2 What does “old” actually mean in a dog?
- 3 This is how your dog’s body changes with age.
- 4 The aging process in dogs cannot be stopped.
Slow path to dog senior
Dogs that are slowly getting older often show changes in their behaviour and other signs. As a dog gets older, its body goes through changes in the way it works.
This can make some of the body’s metabolic processes work less well. At the same time, the risk of getting some diseases also goes up. Of course, ageing itself can’t be stopped.
But the speed at which this natural process happens can be slowed down.
Doing the right things to keep your dog healthy is especially important for his long-term health.
If a disease does happen, it should be found and treated as soon as possible to improve the chances of successful treatment. Regular veterinary exams are an important part of preventive care because of this.
What does “old” actually mean in a dog?
A word like “age” is hard to define for everyone, especially when it comes to dogs.
Most of the time, smaller dogs live longer than bigger dogs, and they also age more slowly.
Larger dogs, on the other hand, often take longer to grow up but then age more quickly.
There are also breed traits to consider, as well as the dog’s lifestyle and health. In general, a dog is considered mature when it has lived about half as long as it is expected to live, and a senior when it has lived about three-quarters as long as it is expected to live.
This is how your dog’s body changes with age.
As dogs get older, different parts of their bodies go through changes.
It is important to understand the different biological parts of ageing because they affect all organ systems and can make diseases happen faster if you are more likely to get them.
The dog is gaining weight.
Dogs also tend to gain weight as they get older. Their fat deposits usually get bigger, while their muscle mass gets smaller in the same way.
If your dog loses too much muscle, it will be hard for him to move around. This means your dog will consume fewer calories and gain weight more quickly with the same amount of food.
To break this bad cycle, you should keep an eye on your dog’s health and condition, make sure he stays at a healthy weight, and stop his muscles from breaking down.
This also means taking care of any pain right away, because if you don’t, it could make your dog less mobile.
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The teeth get worse.
Plaque is the most common problem when it comes to a dog’s teeth.
This can lead to gum inflammation and other infections, like periodontal disease.
This can get so bad that it hurts the dog to chew, making it hard for the dog to eat.
When you don’t take care of your teeth, bacteria grows, which not only gives you bad breath but can also spread through your body and hurt other organs.
Because these bacteria stress the immune system all the time, dogs are more likely to get other diseases as well.
Because of this, you should always take care of your dog’s teeth. But this is even more true as the dog gets older.
So, if you start getting your puppy used to regular dental care now, this is a preventive measure that can help your dog for the rest of its life.
In this situation, diet is also important. In addition to the right ingredients, the right size, shape, and hardness of the kibble can also help to slow down plaque formation.
Digestion becomes slower
As people get older, one of the things that might happen is that the muscles around the intestine slowly lose their normal tension, which means that less digestive juice is made.
This slows down the digestive process as a whole, which can cause constipation and then diarrhoea. So, as your dog gets older, it’s important to feed it the right food.
Since digestion and nutrient absorption in the intestines get worse with age, it may take your dog longer to adjust to a change in diet. It might be best to switch to a high-quality, easily digestible food at a good time.
The performance of the immune system and senses decreases
Early or later, ageing also weakens your dog’s immune system. As his natural defences slowly weaken, he will always be more likely to get sick.
This is not the only reason why older dogs need to get a lot of exercise. If your dog seems less alert or calmer than usual, you should take him or her to the vet.
A checkup early on can help you tell the difference between the effects of getting older and those of other illnesses or disabilities.
The aging process in dogs cannot be stopped.
Your dog will age no matter what you do. You can help him stay healthy even as he gets older by giving him the right care and making sure his diet fits his needs.
If you don’t know how to help your old dog or what kind of food is best for him, your vet will be happy to help.
10 health tips for senior dogs – Lhasa Apso, German Shepherd, and other dogs too
- Have you taken your dog to the vet twice a year for a checkup?
- Find out about diseases that older dogs often get. Pay attention and tell the vet right away if you notice anything strange.
- Follow your vet’s advice about what kind of food is best for your dog’s condition. You might want to give him two small meals instead of one big one.
- Do not feed him too much. Being overweight can cause a lot of health problems and shorten your dog’s life.
- If your dog has arthritis, ask your vet if it’s okay to give him or her dietary supplements like glucosamine or chondroitin.
- Give your dog exercise based on how well he can move.
- Make sure your dog’s teeth are in good shape. You should brush its teeth every day, and if your vet tells you to get a professional cleaning, you should do what he or she says.
- Ask your veterinarian to figure out the best vaccination schedule for your dog based on how often it gets sick.
- Please do everything you can to keep ticks and fleas away from your friend and make sure he and his living space (like his basket or play area) are always clean.
Give him lots of affection and care. Do everything you can to keep him healthy, happy, and alert.