There’s a reason 60.2 million households in the US own a dog. Dogs are the most non-judging, loving companion you could ever have.

There’s only one downside to owning a dog. Their lifespans are relatively short and saying goodbye is the hardest part of pet ownership.

If your dog is getting old, you know the time is coming. But with the miracles of modern medicine, it’s possible to give your senior dog a few more years of life and keep him comfortable during those years as well.

But, you do need to know when it’s time to take your senior dog in to see the Sykesville vet. Here are 4 signs your senior dog needs some extra care.

1. Signs of Pain and Irritability

Arthritis is very common in senior dogs. Around 25% of dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis at some point in their lives. This risk increases as they age.

It’s possible to ease the pain of arthritis and even slow the advancement of the disease with the proper medication. Thus, if you notice signs of this condition, you should take your furry friend in to see the vet.

What are the signs of arthritis? Slowing down, reluctance to climb stairs, limping, licking or chewing on joints, and irritability. Some dogs may even snap at you if you touch the affected area.

2. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be a sign of several things. Commonly, it is an indication of gum disease. Left untreated this can create pockets of infections which can eventually lead to bone loss. This is why regular dental checks are important.

Bleeding gums can also be a sign of something more serious – cancer. As with humans, the earlier cancer is caught, the more successful treatment can be. Thus a trip to the vet would be beneficial even just to rule it out.

3. Sudden Blindness

It is common for dogs to lose their sight as they age. Many dogs develop cataracts which you can see as a cloudiness in their eyes. For most dogs, this is simply part of the aging process and the only thing you can do is teach them to rely on their other senses.

However, what if the blindness comes about suddenly over the course of just a few days? This could be a sign of something far more serious. Your dog may even be developing sudden onset diabetes. In this case, immediate treatment is necessary or your dog’s life will be in danger.

4. Weight Changes

It’s normal for a senior dog to gain a bit of weight as they age. They generally move around less than they used to and their metabolisms slow down.

But, weight changes, particularly rapid ones, can also be indications of something serious. Your dog could have cancer, kidney disease, or be completely fine. The only way to be sure is to see the vet.

Your Sykesville Vet

Are you thinking it may be time to take your dog in to see a Sykesville vet? Don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our specialists in senior dogs will be happy to examine your beloved pet and give you guidance on making your dog more comfortable for their senior years.