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Health Issues in Older Dogs

Health Issues in Older Dogs

As a dog grows older he can be afflicted with several health disorders. In this following article we will try to shed light on some of these issues as well as try to help you understand the varied health conditions that you should be prepared for.
Rujuta Borkar
Dogs age faster than humans do, right? So the chances of you watching your dog get older are at an all time high. When your dog gets older, there are chances that there will be those health disorders that will take over and pose problems for him. As a responsible owner, your duty is to be aware of these health issues and understand what they do to your dog. Why? So that you are able to prevent these from afflicting him in the first place. Even if these health problems do take over, you will be better able to protect your dog and care for him through this time.

Older Dog Health Problems

Though older dogs are more prone to developing health problems, the breed of the dog plays a major role in determining the kind of health issues that will develop in the dog. Here are some of the most common health issues that an older dog will face.

Older dogs will exhibit aggression more commonly and it might be completely uncharacteristic to their regular behavior. The reasons for why this aggressive streak makes way in an older dog could be several, because as a dog ages, there are several health issues that will develop. These include lowered vision and hearing, joint pain and dental issues. The dog's normal functioning ability will take a severe beating due to this and lead to aggression. Make sure that you consult a vet in order to get a solution for the same.

Hardened Skin
Lowered energy levels ensure that your dog does not indulge in as much activity as he did in his youth. Which means that there will be a lot of time spent lying around. Hardened skin around the elbows and tail etc is a common feature in older dogs who spend a lot of time lying around on a hard surface. The hard surface causes calluses and sores on them. You can prevent this condition by providing a bedding for your dog.

Coat Changes
There could be changes in the quality and shine of the coat. The coat will thin down and might not be as shiny as it used to be. The dogs might also develop white hair especially around their mouths.

Change in Weight
As a dog grows older, the levels of his energy will drop as well and therefore the rate of metabolism will fall as well. In such a case, if you continue to feed your dog the same amount of food that you gave him as a young dog, there are high chances that he will put on excess weight which can then lead to several other problems as a result. Obesity in older dogs is one thing that you need to be aware of. Another factor? Keep a close watch on the eating habits of the dog. Some dogs will experience a loss of appetite and this will then lead to weight loss. If you see that the dog has undergone sudden weight loss or gain, then you need to get it checked by your vet as it could be an indication of a serious underlying disorder.

Infliction of Diseases
There are several dog diseases that an older dog can become afflicted with. These could include arthritis, diabetes, kidney problems, liver problems, bladder problems and more. The chances of these coming about are heightened in old age.

Other Issues
There are a number of other health issues in older dogs as well that can come about. Here are some of the same.
  • Soiling in the home.
  • Disorientation in all the actions.
  • Insomnia
  • General weakness
  • Constant scratching due to infliction of fleas.
Older dogs are prone to several other diseases and health conditions as well. That is why there is a need to administer proper older dog health care so that these health issues can be cared for well enough. As an owner, it is your responsibility to be aware of the changes in your dog's health and care for it as required. You need to know how to keep your dog healthy. That is a given.