dog old age symptoms

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, the website owner earns from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you.

You can remember not too long ago how young and spry your best friend was. It may have seemed he could play for hours chasing after balls and sticks in the backyard, but now he’s slowing down.

– Advertisement –

You may notice a little stiffness in his gait or gray hair peppering his once brilliantly colored muzzle. These are all signs your dog is in his golden years. But did you know he may also suffer from an age-related cognitive decline?

Just like us, your dog can suffer from short-term memory loss or have difficulty learning new things. They may even have a change in personality and exhibit neediness or be a grouch.
– Advertisement –

The cognitive decline also explains why your senior dog may become forgetful like not remembering where the front door is or turning the wrong way on a regular walking route.

how old is a senior dog

The best way to slow down the aging process and cognitive decline in your dog is to keep his mind and body active. All dogs need physical exercise, which also helps with mental health. A gentle walk twice daily, playing fetch or ball, and even floor tricks like high-fives are excellent ways to engage his body and mind. The type of exercise your dog gets will depend on his age and health though. Suddenly taking your senior dog out for a brisk morning jog is not appropriate for him and may do more harm than good, physically.

Mental stimulation, such as puzzle games, hide-and-seek, or a starting a new trick training can help your dog’s mind stay sharp and slow down cognitive decline. You want to engage and talk to him often as well. Another consideration is being left alone all day can lead to separation anxiety and depression and can quicken the aging process.

– Advertisement –

Good nutrition will also play a huge role in the aging process, and you may want to discuss diets with your vet. Senior dogs can benefit from foods rich in omega three fatty acids and antioxidants to help promote an active, healthy mind. Combining physical, mental, and nutritional efforts aimed at reducing the effects of the aging process can significantly improve the quality of your dog’s golden years.