“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” -Agnes Sligh Turnbull
Your dog means more to you than almost anything. A faithful friend, trusted companion, and bottomless source of comfort, he or she is there for you through thick and thin to lift your spirits and enhance your life every day. While we all wish our dogs could live forever, it is unfortunately impossible to stop the march of time. However, by knowing and understanding the common health problems that dogs face as they age, we can do our best to keep them living a healthy, happy life for as long as possible. Here are some of the health conditions that senior dogs most commonly experience, as well as tips for helping to prevent and treat them.
Hearing and Vision Loss
Like humans, dogs’ senses can become less sharp as they age. Vision and hearing loss are quite common among senior dogs, and are caused by deterioration of tissue in the eyes and ears. Eye problems such as cataracts, a cloudy membrane that forms over the lens of the eye can partially or completely obstruct an aging dog’s vision, leading to blindness. Regular checkups by your veterinarian can help detect vision and hearing problems early to help prevent them from worsening. Additionally, hearing loss can be mitigated by regularly cleaning out your dog’s ears to remove earwax and other blockages.
Dogs love to run, jump, and play in their youth, but as they age, their joints can become stiff, making walking or even standing up difficult and painful. You can purchase supplements to help improve your dog’s joint health at any veterinary office or pet food store. It has recently become a trend to administer CBD hemp oil to dogs in order to alleviate joint pain and improve mobility. CBD oil contains cannabinoids that help with muscle relaxation and increased flexibility, and many owners of senior dogs swear by its highly beneficial properties. Thanks to advances like CBD oil and other joint care supplements for dogs, it is possible to grant your dog a better quality of life as he or she heads into the golden years.
As dogs age, their risk of developing heart disease increases. One common type of heart disease in dogs is congestive heart failure, which is the result of fluid buildup in the heart, lungs, and chest when the heart isn’t able to pump blood properly. By taking your senior dogs for regular veterinary checkups and monitoring him or her for symptoms of heart disease, such as coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and unexplained vomiting, you may be able to help your dog live a longer, healthier life.
When you love a dog, you would do anything to keep him or her around for as long as possible. By paying attention to unusual behavior or symptoms, feeding your dog a healthy, balanced, vitamin-rich diet, and administering supplements to improve joint health, you are helping your best friend live to a ripe old age!