There are a lot of problems that come up with aging dogs. For example reduced tolerance toward children and other animals is common, but this can be the result of arthritic pain or failing sight. If a dog is in pain, it may be afraid of being hurt by a child bumping into it. If it cannot hear well, being touched may startle it while sound asleep, and it could growl and snap out of self defense before it realized what is happening.
If your dog appears disoriented and canine cognitive dysfunction has been ruled out, your dog may be deaf or its vision impaired. If it is blind, furniture should be kept in the same place and a consistent routine followed. If it is deaf but not visually impaired, hand signals should be used to direct and it should be kept on a lead during roadside walks.
Similarly, night-time wandering, when not the result of canine cognitive dysfunction, may be due to discomfort caused by untreated arthritis, and house soiling may be due to loss of muscle tone or decreased neurological function of your dogs bladder or bowel.
Bed wetting is common in old dogs and may be due to a hormonal deficiency or a problem with the nerves that control the bladder sphincter. If your dog leaves wet patches where it sleeps, consult your veterinary surgeon. These problems can be treated. Note: dogs with this condition may become anxious if owners react angrily.
Shortness of breath and raspy breathing can be due to a condition known as laryngeal paralysis. In this condition, the nerve that controls the larynx starts to degenerate, so the dog cannot open it properly to take in air when it breathes. Dogs with this condition put a lot of energy into labored breathing and therefore can not manage to do much in the way of exercise or play.