Just like humans, dogs age and their health may begin to deteriorate. Thanks to modern science, dogs are living for much longer than they ever have before, but they nonetheless require special care and observation in their later years. Here are some factors you may not have had to take under consideration during their youth:
Reduced tolerance of children and other animals
This could be caused by a number of factors, including reduced vision or vision impairment – being unsure of what is approaching them can lead to them being fearful or easily startled. If they are suffering from arthritis they may be weary of being hurt by a child or animal bumping into them and causing them pain. It’s important that if vision is affected, that routines are kept strictly in place, and furniture isn’t moved or large changes don’t take place in the home environment.
Potty Training Failure
You may wonder why your dog’s perfect potty training has gone out the window, but incontinence is a common occurrence in older dogs – they simply can’t ‘hold it’ for as long. It’s incredibly important not to react angrily in these situations – dogs can become very anxious as a result of such reactions. Your best step is to consult your vet, and give your dog more opportunities to go throughout the day and before bed, if possible.
Arthritis is a very common illness in dogs, and while it cannot be perfectly treated, you can provide a great deal of relief by regularly massaging your dog. It will also make them very happy and create a deeper bond between you and your dog. It’s important to consult your vet more regularly as your dog gets older – at least twice a year to get them checked up and cared for.