You are used to seeing your dog healthy, happy and strong. After a few years you notice that there are changes in your dog’s behavior. He is less energetic than before, he concentrates less well in his environment and he looks a bit confused. In addition, there are also physical changes and the dog’s fur turns white and joint problems and other physical problems begin. In the next article we will try to explain what happens to your dog as he ages. What are the common cognitive effects and what are the physical problems that will appear in many older dogs.
Cognitive problems in adult dogs
It’s not often that dogs show cognitive changes, but we do see some. It is the case with some older dogs that start to forget the commands that they have been taught. Also their associative learning – the ability to associate a particular behavior to a particular context – diminishes. This means that dogs no longer become familiar with places or people. Another specific problem related to aging in dogs is the sense of time. Here too you see some problems with remembering where you left the ball or a toy. You see that the dog becomes less aggressive when excited and loses some of his playful nature. Many of the behavioural changes of dogs as they age are temporary and these changes are often related to the onset of pain or disease. Yes, there are problems that will remain with your dog, because like humans, thay also have a decrease in cognitive function. In 70% of dogs over the age of 15, cognitive decline and memory or thinking problems are seen.
Physical problems in older dogs
There are some physical problems that frequently appear in dogs after their age of ten. The dog’s spine begins to loosen and there is a reduction in the strength of his limbs. Besides this there are other physical changes that also affect the way your dog behaves. Sometimes these changes are related to the canine aging process, sometimes they occur for a different reason. It is important to know what changes occur because it can affect the treatment. Stroke: The most common cause of strokes in dogs is old age. When your dog is ten or older there will be an increase in the number of strokes. It is mainly due to joint and spinal conditions and cardiovascular disease.
In order to keep your fluffy friend look young, you can check out our article on Haircut Styles for Dogs. We recommend comprehensive and routine testing of your dog at a veterinarian as soon as he or she reaches the age of ten or when you feel there is a decrease in your dog’s cognitive function..