Older dogs can have specific health needs you should watch for, because large breed dogs can begin to show signs of aging as early as 7 years, while smaller breeds may not begin to show signs of aging until they are 10 or even 12.
You may begin to see joint and bone problems that can lead to arthritis and other joint diseases in older dogs. Your dog may not be as active as he/she once was, and may have trouble going up and down stairs, or jumping onto a couch or into the car. Typically, your older dog won't have as much energy as they did when they were younger -this is normal.
Teeth and gums are a big issue with older dogs, which is why it is important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings throughout your dog's life. Tooth and gum problems can lead to a variety of other health issues, from difficulty eating (and losing too much weight), to bacterial infections and inflammation due to swollen, infected gums.
Eyes and ears can be problems as a dog ages, too. Dogs can develop eye problems, just as people do when they age, and ear infections, which can affect a dog's hearing as they age. Older dogs will all develop health issues like these sooner or later, so dog owners need to be prepared for these changes in their pets, and learn how to recognize the signs of aging in older dogs.
Pet and brush your dog regularly, and watch carefully for bumps or lumps underneath the skin. A dog's skin and coat can deteriorate as they age, so more shampooing and conditioning may be in order, too. Just be more observant as your dog ages, and take your dog for regular health checkups to help combat aging health in older dogs.
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