3 Major Changes Your Dog Will Go Through As They Age
If you are a dog lover thinking about getting a new member of your family, or have already done so and are curious about what to expect as your dog ages, this article is for you. Roughly, we all are aware that one “dog year” is relatively equivalent to seven human years. But dogs and humans are biologically different, and we cannot base our entire understanding of them on this one simple rule. Here instead, are some changes you can expect to see as your furry little friend grows.
1. A Change in Energy Levels
This is a pretty easy one to spot, and what most owners notice first when their dog is “getting up there”. One to three year-old pups can be very energetic, hardly staying still for a single minute. As they age, however, they will begin to take longer and more frequent breaks between spurts. Most dogs will lose that seemingly abundant energy as they pass the three-to-four-year mark.
2. Physical Changes
As dogs get even older, their bodies will begin to betray them. Weight gain is typical as their energy-levels drop, and your dog will begin to grow gray hairs around their muzzle and coat. Very old dogs will start to lose sight in their eyes, developing cataracts that escalate to near-blindness. Loss of complete function of their back legs is also likely for most breeds.
3. Change in Behavior
Many older dogs will act unpredictably, barking at nothing or sleeping for more than ten hours a day. Senior dogs are prone to both confusion and sedentary behavior, and can be noted for what may seem like depression in some cases. A disinterest in its surroundings and loss of appetite may occur as your dog ages.
Take heart, though. By this time your dog has lived a long and happy life. He probably deserves that extra bone.