8 Things Senior Dogs Want You to Know

If your older dog won't eat, try adding a tasty food topper, rotating protein, or combining wet food with kibble.

Teeth are crucial for all dogs, but seniors are more likely to get dental illness. Dogs with dental illness can develop kidney, heart, and liver disease, as well as tooth pain, breakage, and loss.

Studies suggest that domestic dogs sleep 7.7 to 16 hours each day, with senior dogs sleeping longer. If your elderly dog spends more time in bed, it may be suffering from degenerative joint disease, hip and elbow dysplasia, or osteoarthritis.

If your dog has impaired vision, block steps to prevent slips and falls. If their hearing is impaired, teaching hand signals with daily orders (e.g., come, meal, bathroom) can help you communicate. 

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Eye clouding, discharge, and bumping may be more obvious than others. Senior dogs should get semi-annual veterinary appointments, including ocular exams, according to updated American Animal Hospital Association standards.

Like humans, elderly dogs might develop cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, or other eye problems. Dogs may have temporary or permanent hearing loss as they age. Try not to take it personally if your dog doesn't respond straight away.   

Daley said older dogs may become reclusive or forget which direction the door opens or gaze at the corner. 

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