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The Aging Process in Dogs

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. old-dog-smiling

Age Defying tips:

  1. Keep your dog both physically and mentally active throughout his life. Teach him new tricks-old dogs can learn new tricks
  2. Offer puzzle toys that reward him with treats when he “solves” puzzle.
  3. Wellness exam ,every six months are important in the aging process. Long Live Senior Dogs!!!

 

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