At What Age Is A Dog Considered A Senior?
A small-breed dog's lifespan is typically longer than a large breed dog's - up to about 16 years. So, a
small, healthy dog might not be considered a senior until they are 12 years old.
However, some small breeds, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, have a shorter lifespan and are considered senior at about 8 years old.
Large dog breeds tend to have shorter lifespans, meaning they enter their golden years more quickly than smaller breeds. Labradors are a good average barometer of large breed dog. Their typical lifespan is about 12 years so they would enter their senior years at 8 to 9 years oldThe average lifespan of a giant dog like the Bernese Mountain Dog is only 6 to 8 years, so around 4 to 5 years old is considered senior.
8 Signs of Aging in Senior Dogs
Slowing DownArthritis and osteoarthritis are very common in aging dogs and apart from slowing down. If your dog is slow to walk, run or move, it could be a sign that he's suffering from painful joints or stiff legs. Besides,your dog may become cranky, irritable and a bit more aggressive.
Weight Gain or LossAs your dog ages, their metabolism slows. This makes it easier for them to gain weight, and they’ll start to lay down fat at the expense of muscle. Arthritis also can cause dogs to become reluctant to exercise, causing weight gain. Conversely, elderly dogs might have less of an appetite and be less efficient at digestion, causing them to lose weight.
If your senior dog has arthritis, you may need these targeted heating therapy braces to relieve his joint pain!
Bad BreathDental problems are one of the earliest signs of aging in dogs and it's the most urgent health issue that needs to be cured. Those who have a dental disease will smell noticeable bad. Your dog could suffer from tooth decay that can affect his heart and general health, so don't delay the vet visit.
Loss for hearingYour dog might no longer be rushing to you when he hears his name, likely because he's losing his hearing. When you notice this sign, please remeber to get your dog checked in time.
White hairs on the muzzle and faceFlakiness, hair loss, hot spots, dry coat — these are just some of the signs of a deteriorating coat. There are many health problems that could be associated with these conditions and the best thing to do to ensure that nothing is wrong with your dog is to get a test and assessment from the vet.
Bathroom AccidentsDogs can, unfortunately, lose control of their bladder in their senior years or they might need more bathroom breaks than normal. You can place the pads in their favorite spot or corner. However, if your dog is having a serious incontinence issue and regular bathroom accidents more and more often, then it might be time to get him checked for a medical problem.
Cloudy EyesYour dog’s eyes can cloud over in a condition called nuclear sclerosis – one of the more common signs your dog is getting old. Whilst this might look a bit like cataracts, due to the blue-white shine, it’s considered normal for older dogs.
Sleeping more or difficulty sleepingDogs generally sleep more than humans. Old dogs might indulge in sleep even more. But note that one of the earliest symptoms of anemia in dogs, or the reduction of red blood cells in your dog's body, is excessive sleeping and it shouldn't be taken so lightly. Visit your vet right away as anemia can also be a symptom of a more serious condition like chronic kidney disease or cancer.
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