Aging is a natural process. Early in life as the puppy grows, his body builds new tissue,repairs injuries, and maintains multiple functions that allow him to thrive in harmony with thw world around him. Growth slows and stop once adulthood is reached. This genetic aging is dictted by your dog’s breed and inherited tendencies from his family line.
Skin changes are the most obvious. You will see a loss of pigment when the fur around the ear margins and muzzles turn gray. Most senior dogs have only 25 percent the number of active hair follicles as when younger.
It is important that you understand how ages affects the different systems so you are alert to subtle changes in your little guy that might point to serious problems. Catching problems early is the best way to keep your dog healthy and happy for many years to come.
While “middle aged” dogs tend to be over. A weight , a greater proportion of dogs over twelve years of age are underweight compared to other groups. The loss of lean body mass cannot be prevented but may be reduced through a combination of diet and exercise. Senior dogs may need more than three times the amount of protein recommended.
All dogs tend to suffer some memory loss as they age. A small percentage develop more severe symptoms. Look for : Disorientation: wanders aimlessly , acts loss or confused : Interaction changes : no longer greets family members: sleep changes -is awake and active night: housetraining is forgotten:anxiety or compulsive behaviour-howling, tail chasing. These are some of the changes you may notice as your dog ages. A little knowledge goes a long way in managing these symptoms.
Age Defying tips: