Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Expectancy—Is Your Dog a Senior?

One day you just notice that your best friend for life, your loveable canine friend that is, is no longer as quick to chase the ducks into the pond as you wander through the park. A few weeks later he yelps a bit when you brush his coat only to realize he has a fatty lump near on his backside. And then there is that characteristic gray around the muzzle that started to show up around the 7th or 8th anniversary of the day you welcomed your beloved dog into your home. So has Fido earned senior citizen status?
Probably, yes.

Unlike people, a dog is not going to become a senior citizen when he hits 65 years old…even in dog years. There is not a one-size-fits-all breeds rule on when a dog becomes a senior; mostly because different breeds have differing life expectancies. While a pure bred bulldog has an average life span of 9 years, Chihuahuas often live for 15. Many say that a dog starts its golden years around age 7 but like people, dogs are only as old as they feel. If your dog is feeling and acting quite spry, it may be a very healthy adult dog approaching old age. But as a dog nears the end of his breeds life span, his senior status will become more probable.  Check Out Dog Life Expectancy for other breeds HERE.

8 Quick Tips for Determining Senior Dog Status

  1. Tires Quickly—Can’t run or play fetch as long as before
  2. Graying Muzzle—An obvious sign of age
  3. Not as Fast—Gets up and down slowly.
  4. Rear End Lumps—Fatty, spongy lipomas are common.
  5. Hearing Problems—Not coming when called.
  6. Sight Problems—Gets disoriented in own yard or home.
  7. Behavior Changes—More fearful of noise or storms.
  8. Accidents Indoors—Bladder problems can be age related

Just like humans, older dogs just start to slow down and need extra care. Any or all of these symptoms are signs of old age in a dog but also could signify a serious health issue. It is important as a dog ages to keep up with regular vet visits to monitor any significant change and rule out serious illness. 

Copyright 2011

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