We all know that older dogs are prone to certain types of health problems – just like older people! Aging comes with both physical and mental changes that can affect your dog’s behavior, ability to get around, enjoyment of favorite activities, interest in training, and overall quality of life. In this talk, we’ll discuss some of the most common medical and behavioral issues that we often see in senior dogs including trouble with mobility, chronic illnesses, and cognitive decline.
Dog owners often aren’t sure what specific “red flags” they should be watching out for, or how to differentiate normal age-related changes in behavior or activity level from something that might be more concerning. Some changes that you might think are an unavoidable part of getting older are actually medical problems that can be treated by your veterinarian once a diagnosis is made, so it’s definitely helpful to know what sorts of things should prompt you to consider a vet visit!
We’ll also talk about how to support your senior dog and give them the best “retirement years” possible, even if they’re generally healthy and doing well – from small things like making some adjustments to your living quarters or daily routine, to more involved treatment options for common problems such as cognitive dysfunction or mobility challenges. This will include some discussion of specific medications and dietary supplements that can be helpful, in some cases.
Finally, we’ll touch briefly on some miscellaneous concerns that often arise with older dogs such as nighttime restlessness, having “accidents” in the house, new or worsening noise sensitivity, and aggression towards housemate pets.