How To Care For Your Senior Dog

Jinx, our family dog of 12 years, was such an incredible creature.

He was a rough collie who was very gentle and great with kids.

The only negative aspect of his life was that his health was poor in his old age.

Early on, he suffered from hypothyroidism, which caused him to become obese, and almost certainly led to other problems. 

aging dog

Jinx, our family dog of 12 years.

While hindsight is truly 20/20, some things would've helped us make him more comfortable as he aged.

As dog owners, it can be hard (and even scary) watching your dog get older.

When a dog becomes a 'senior' varies between breeds. A larger dog may become a senior as early as 5-6 years old, whereas a smaller dog might just be entering middle age.

Similarly, not all dogs age the same. Several things might influence your dog's health, such as nutrition and environmental factors.

Regardless, dog owners should know how to best care for their senior pooch.

In this article, we will discuss what you should watch out for in your older dogs and how to care for their changing needs.

Diseases, Illnesses, Disabilities, & Changes: What To Be Aware Of.

Older dogs become more susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses.


As your dog begins to move less, they will be at higher risk of becoming obese. Regular exercise, as well as a healthy diet, lower their chances of becoming overweight.


Over 1/3 of dogs over the age of seven will develop cancer at some point in their life. For that reason, it is essential to watch for certain signs so it can be caught early. For more information about cancer in dogs, click here.

Dental Disease 

Brushing your dog's teeth may seem funny. However, failing to keep your dog's mouth healthy can be very painful and lead to further issues.


Also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), primarily affects larger breeds. It usually affects areas such as the lower spine and limbs.


A disease in which the lens of the eye clouds over, causing poorer vision. 

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)

If your dog seems to be forgetful or confused, it may be suffering from CCD. The symptoms of CCD is similar to Alzheimer's in humans.

Hearing Loss

You may begin to notice that your dog has trouble hearing. An easy way to rule out if it is just stubbornness is by shaking their favorite treat can.

What Can I Do To Support My Elderly Dog?

While aging isn't easy, there are things you can do to make your dog's life easier!

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

First and foremost, if you have a question about your dog's health, you need to contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment. From there, you must schedule regular vet visits to make sure your pet is in proper health.

Monitor Your Dog's Diet

An easy way to help prevent obesity and other diseases is by monitoring your dog's diet. Try adding fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. You might also try feeding them higher quality food than before.

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Make sure your dog continues to move. Activities such as walking are perfect for making sure your dog stays limber. Allowing them to become a couch potato adds additional risk to obesity and further complications, so make sure they stay active!


Grooming your dog regularly keeps your dog feeling good and staying healthy. Your routine should include brushing, nail trimming, and teeth cleaning, along with monthly bathing.

Love & Affection

As always, love is the best medicine. Interacting with your dog is excellent for both of you. 

tips for caring for senior dogs

We hope that you find this article helpful in caring for your senior dog!

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Pet MD
American Kennel Association 

These products will make your older dog's life easier:

BarkBox Memory Foam Dog Bed

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Blue Buffalo Dog Food

A healthy diet is key in maintain your dog's health. Blue Buffalo's first ingredient is always meat with an assortment of vitamins and minerals.

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Purina Dentalife Oral Care

Want an easy way to help keep your dog's teeth clean? These treats by Purina are the perfect way to keep your dog's mouth healthy.

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Please Note: By clicking on certain links and choosing to order, we may receive compensation. However, we are not sponsored by any of these companies and only select the best products to show to our community members.