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Dog Training & Handling Tips

Dog Friendly Tips: Old Dogs

If you have never had the luxury of living with an old dog that has grown old with you, you have missed a great adventure of life. The golden years in a dog's life vary with the individual animal as they do with the individual human being, but it's safe to say the last 25 percent of a dog's life represent its old age.

An aged dog has long since forgotten its puppy antics and may have lost a good deal of physical alertness, but it knows your every mood, your schedule of arrivals and departures, the sound of your car, and it knows what pleases you and tries its best to oblige.

If your pet is a hunter it goes about its job with no lost motion - all business - and it knows by then where its chances of scenting a bird or a rabbit are and goes right to work. If your dog can no longer jog with you it watches your departure with a healthy concern and greets your return like a long - lost friend.

The aging process is involved with many and various factors. If one organ has been stressed by disease it may be a weak link. For example, if the kidneys had infections during the pet's earlier life they could be the weak link later in life. The dog may not have the capability of eliminating normal wastes of metabolism as easily as in its younger days. Perhaps it must drink twice as much water to flush the same wastes it disposed of with no problem a year before. This situation requires the pumping of more blood through the tired kidneys by the heart. This is stressful to the heart.

And there are a myriad of similar problems, some of which have good potential for alleviating and many of which are beyond our knowledge and control. Nevertheless, it seems to us an old dog has earned the right to be helped when problems arise. Where veterinary medicine can provide so many answers a loyal old dog should be given every opportunity.

Signs of Aging

The following are the signs that would tell that your dog has grown old.

The common signs of aging include low level of activities with longer hours of sleep along with hard snoring sounds. No longer interested in long walks and catching a ball. The dog shows less interest in what is going around him.

The dog becomes sensitive to extremes of temperature. It finds difficulty in stretching its limbs and to move because of the increasing stiffness of its joints.

Low eyesight level and hearing capacity. Dogs generally do not have to suffer much due to poor eyesight as they get habituated in their known surroundings.

The sebaceous glands of the dog become less active. As a result the fur looks dull and also loses hair.

Wounds take time to heal and the incidence of infection may increase.

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