Aging is a natural process that impacts everything, including your pets. While an average Great Dane lives for around seven years, smaller breeds have a longer lifespan of up to 14 years. Although aging is inevitable, as a responsible pet parent, you can also help your pet stay healthy and happy for as long as possible. This can be done by looking for signs of aging and helping your dog age gracefully.
Here's are some common signs of aging to watch for and manage.
Metabolism changes cause dogs to gain weight as they get older. They also become less active and lose interest in playing. Overweight dogs become prone to health issues like diabetes, arthritis, and hypothyroidism.
You will have to make changes to your dog's diet and cut down on fats. Limit the number of treats and table scraps as they are calorie-rich. Also, pay attention to portion control and adjust the pet's diet according to any metabolic changes.
Weight gain can also make age-related joint problems worse. Joint supplements and CBD for dogs can help reduce pain and manage other age-related problems in senior dogs. For example, the cannabinoid in CBD helps regulate pain by producing a chemical called anandamide.
As dogs age, they lose their sense of smell, sight, and hearing. If left untreated, some dogs become blind or deaf. But the loss of their senses can be subtle in the beginning. Your dog may become less responsive to your calls or become aggressive when approached by an unknown person.
Such signs are easily mistaken for bad behavior. However, you should not immediately jump to that conclusion and punish your pet as it could cause more stress.
To avoid this, make small changes to make life easier for your dog. For example, you can place the water and food bowl in the same place so that it is easy to find. Do not pet your dog aggressively or suddenly because you could frighten them or cause pain.
Loss of bladder control is a common side effect of aging. But they usually don't lose complete control right away. If an accident happens, do not punish or embarrass your pet. Instead, provide more opportunities for a pee-break.