What You Need to Know About
Senior Dog Health
Learn how to keep your older dog healthy and happy
Because dogs age so much faster than we do, senior dog health issues can
seem to appear out of nowhere. One day you’re running after a cute
little puppy and it seems like the next day you’re dealing with your
dog’s arthritis or cataracts.
It's hard to believe my dog, Luc, is a senior now. It seems like he was a puppy just yesterday. While he doesn't seem like an older dog to me most of the time, there are some things that have changed. He sleeps more during the day, and he can't jump up on the bed as easily as he used to.
While the life expectancy for a small dog like the Coton is longer than other larger breeds, you want to make sure that every single one of those years is filled with the highest quality of life possible.
The good news is that, just like with people, medical science has come so far that your older dog can have a high quality of life for much longer these days. There are treatments available for all kinds of age related symptoms.
Caring for an older dog requires just a little more patience and observation on your part.
What can you do to ensure the best senior dog health?
- Make sure your dog goes to the vet once or twice a year. Prevention is the key to ensure good older dog health.
- Handle your dog frequently looking for bumps, lumps and any changes in the coat and skin.
- Pay attention to your dog’s ears, eyes and mouth when you do your daily or weekly grooming. Changes detected early can prevent serious problems.
- Dental hygiene is especially important to the overall health of your senior dog. Don’t let this go.
- Monitor your dog’s appetite and thirst. Loss of appetite and severe thirst can be indicators of serious medical issues.
- Make changes in your dog’s environment if necessary. If your dog is arthritic you may want to change his bedding or provide stairs to help him get on the couch. Raising food and water bowls can also make your dog more comfortable.
- Keep older dogs on a regular schedule. Senior dogs get anxious when their schedule or environment changes drastically. Make changes slowly.
- Any sudden behavioral changes can be a sign of a medical condition. If your dog is acting out of character or has suddenly become aggressive it can be a sign of arthritis or a toothache. It's important to visit your Vet when sudden you notice these changes.
If your older dog suddenly exhibits any of the below symptoms, you should seek medical attention:
Senior Dog Health Symptoms to Watch For:
- Lumps, bumps, scabs, redness, fleas or rashes
- Coughing, sneezing or wheezing
- Head shaking or scratching ears
- Panting, salivating, whining or pacing
- Changes in appetite or thirst
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Plaque on teeth near gums, red or swollen gums, or bleeding teeth
- Loss of hearing
- Bladder control issues
- Any sudden behavioral changes
- Bloodshot or cloudy eyes
- Ear odor
Return to Senior Dog Care