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Signs of Aging in Dogs and How to Care for Them

When our canine friends grow older, they undergo significant changes both physically and mentally. Understanding these changes can help us provide the care and comfort dogs need as they age. This article will delve into the tell-tale signs of aging in dogs, and offer practical steps on how to adequately care for them during this phase of their lives.

Common Signs of Aging in Dogs

Here are some signs that indicate your dog is getting older:

  1. Gray hair around the face and body
  2. Increased lethargic behavior or less energy
  3. Deterioration of eyesight or hearing capabilities
  4. Changes in sleep patterns
  5. Weight gain or loss
  6. Difficulty in movements or stiffness
  7. Changes in behavior or signs of confusion

Importance of Regular Check-ups

As your dog ages, regular visits to the vet become increasingly important. It gives you a chance to monitor your pet’s health closely, helping in early detection of possible health issues. Discuss with your vet about the frequency of these check-ups based on your dog’s age, breed, and overall health.

How to Care for Older Dogs?

Here is how you can make your furry friend’s golden years more comfortable:

  1. Provide a balanced and nutritious diet.
  2. Maintain a regular, but gentle exercise routine to keep them engaged and healthy.
  3. Regular grooming is crucial to keep skin problems at bay.
  4. Consider doggie ramps or steps to help them navigate around the house if they develop mobility issues.
  5. Consider making adjustments to the home, like furniture placement, etc., to help them navigate if they have impaired sight and modify behavioral commands if hearing impaired.

Keeping your Dog Active and Engaged

Keeping our dogs mentally stimulated is crucial in their later years. Puzzle toys or games that stimulate their senses can be helpful in maintaining cognitive function. Additionally, socializing with other dogs can also keep them engaged and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what age do dogs start showing signs of aging?

Different breeds age at different rates. Small breed dogs may not show signs until around 10-12 years, while larger breeds can show signs as early as 5-6 years.

How can we aid in the wellbeing of older dogs?

Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, gentle exercise, and plenty of love and comfort are all key components to ensuring your senior dog’s wellbeing.

Will getting my older dog a puppy help him stay “young”?

We’ve had many Furrylicious clients tell us that their older dog seems lonely, either just due to some older-age depression or perhaps because a sibling dog has recently passed. Bringing in a new, young puppy to the family can bring “new life” and joy to many older dogs. But remember every dog and puppy situation is different. If your older dog is truly ailing and grumpy, it may not be the best idea, but if he/she is just showing early signs of aging, a new puppy just might be the perfect pick-me-up.


Caring for an aging dog may require a bit more effort and patience, but the love and companionship they offer are absolutely worth it. By understanding the signs of aging, making necessary adaptations, and providing optimal care, we can ensure our Furrylicious friends enjoy their golden years in comfort and happiness.