8 Things that Your Senior Dog Wants You To Know

If you're the proud owner of a senior big dog, you're in great company. According to recent statistics, over half of dog-owning households in America have a furry family member over the age of 7. Senior dogs bring a unique charm and companionship into our lives, but they also come with specific needs and challenges. If your aging canine companion could talk, here's what they'd want you to know about their golden years.

  1. I Might Act Anxious and Forgetful Sometimes: As dogs age, they may exhibit reclusive behavior or signs of forgetfulness or dementia, such as staring at the corner or indoor potty accidents. Some may even exhibit symptoms in their sleep-wake cycle. These signs could be due to Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). Be patient and understanding, and consult your veterinarian for proper testing and diagnosis.


  1. I Can't See or Hear You As Clearly As I Used To: Just like humans, aging dogs can experience vision and hearing loss. This may lead to confusion or changes in behavior. Regular veterinary visits, including ocular examinations, are essential for early detection and management of these issues. Accommodations like hand signals can help with communication.

  1. It May Seem Like I Sleep All Day: Senior dogs tend to sleep more, but excessive sleep could also be a sign of joint pain or conditions like osteoarthritis. Be vigilant for awkward movements or postures that might indicate joint discomfort, and consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

  1. My Choppers Could Use Some Extra TLC: Dental health is crucial for senior dogs. Dental issues can lead to pain and contribute to various health problems. Regular dental care, including brushing and checkups, is essential. Look for signs like bad breath, broken teeth, or refusal to eat.

  1. My Appetite and Eating Habits May Change: Elderly dogs may have changing food preferences due to aging senses. However, loss of appetite or significant changes in eating habits can be a sign of underlying health issues. Consult your vet to determine if your senior dog's eating issues are a symptom of a more severe condition. Consider switching to a senior-specific diet that matches their nutritional needs.

  1. Keeping Me Healthy Could Cost You More: The cost of caring for senior dogs can be significant. Senior dogs require more frequent veterinary visits. To help manage these costs, consider flexible financing options like the CareCredit credit card for unexpected veterinary expenses.

  1. Healthy Grooming Habits Are More Important Than Ever: Grooming isn't just about keeping your dog looking good. It's an opportunity to bond and monitor your senior dog's health. Pay attention to changes in their skin, coat, or physical condition. Groomers may be required if your dog has arthritis or mobility issues.

  1. Love Me Enough To Let Me Go When The Time Comes: Preparing for the end of your senior dog's life is crucial. Stay alert for signs of declining quality of life, and discuss end-of-life care options with your veterinarian. It's a difficult but essential part of being a responsible pet owner.

In conclusion, caring for a senior big dog is a rewarding experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Prevention and regular veterinary care are vital to ensure they enjoy their golden years to the fullest. Remember that each senior dog is unique, so tailor their care to their specific needs. Stay active together but be mindful of their limitations, and cherish the quiet, bonding moments with your loyal companion.