Aging and Senior Dogs

Boneo Aging and Senior Dogs

It’s common knowledge that aging in dogs happens at a much faster rate than humans. But you might be wondering when is a dog a senior? Dogs are usually considered a senior when the dog is between the age of 7 and 10 years old, however not all dogs age at the same rate. Bigger breeds (such as a St. Bernard) age faster than smaller breeds (such as a Chihuahua).

A dog’s biological clock really depends on his genetics, diet, state of health, and overall stress. Although aging is inevitable, you can slow down the progression of senior dog health problems.

Signs of Aging in Dogs

Signs Your Dog Is A Senior

Visible Signs of Aging in Dogs

There are some visible signs of aging in dogs that you might notice, including: graying of the coat (especially the muzzle), thinner fur, cloudiness in the eyes, weight gain, change in their gait, visible decay on the teeth, lumps and bumps, and less muscle tone.

Health Signs Associated with the Aging Dogs

  • Obesity. Older dogs are more prone to obesity than other groups of dogs. This is often due to the fact that their appetite remains the same, but their ability to exercise declines. Senior dogs often develop joint conditions which causes pain, and the outcome of pain is often an unwillingness to walk, run or play.
  • Teeth/Gums. As dogs get older, the constant use of their teeth will catch up with them. You will start noticing plaque accumulation, bleeding on the gums, and even teeth loss as they age. Having a preventive approach to dental care (by brushing their teeth and giving them dental chews) can help keep these problems at bay.
  • Muscle and Strength. As your dog exercises and moves around less, muscle loss and accompanying weakness will follow. You should try to encourage your dog to go on walks, even if they are shorter, and manage their weight.
  • Eyes. Just like with people, dogs can experience vision loss and cataracts as they age. Many of these conditions can be addressed with early treatment.
  • Incontinence. You may start to see that your dog is having more accidents as they age. It is important not to get angry with your dog when this happens, as bladder control can be difficult for the older dog. If possible, make sure to install a doggy door or give your dog frequent bathroom breaks. It will also be important to make sure that your veterinarian checks to make your dog does not have any kind of urinary tract infection or kidney dysfunction.
  • Bone and Joint Conditions. The most common health conditions associated with older dogs is osteoarthritis and the progression of dysplasia. You may see your dogs back legs collapse after too much activity, see that they are walking more stiffly, or see that they tend to sit and rest more often than before.

Aging Dog's Behavior

Dog behavior changes with age, this is another sign to determine if your dog has become a senior. Senior dogs tend to be less active, less energetic, and less interested in what’s going on around them. Sleeping a lot and forgetfulness are also common symptoms of old age in dogs.

Anxiety is common in the senior dog, especially around other younger dogs. When a dog is already feeling weaker or less able, their food may be threatened by the other dogs. Provide your dog with a safe environment to eat and make sure that rough-housing between dogs is kept to a minimum.

Many of these behavioral changes are the result from physical conditions (loss of hearing and smell, joint stiffness, and muscular weakness). The pain from arthritis or any other joint pain can also cause aggression in dogs when faced with human contact or other dogs.

One way to make your senior dog feel more comfortable is to pay attention to him and make him feel loved. It’s also beneficial if you engage him in family activity (such as putting his bed in the center of the living room), or taking him for short walks throughout the day.

This content is written by our Clinical Advisory Board for informational purposes only. It should not be viewed as an endorsement for any product or as a substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

Dog Life Span

Genetics, particularly breed and size, play a significant role in dog’s average life span. The average life span of a dog varies from breed to breed but, generally smaller dogs tend to a greater life expectancy than larger dogs.

What is the Average Dog Life Span?

According to PetMD, a recent analysis of veterinary records on the average life span of dogs revealed the following statistics:

  • Dogs under 20 pounds. 13 years
  • Dogs between 20-90 pounds. 11 years
  • Dogs over 90 pounds. 8 years

Though these are general markers based on breeds and sizes, the dog life expectancy is also dependent on a variety of environmental factors. Dogs are subject to disease, cancer, and aging just as people are, so nutrition and exercise become important in determining the dog’s life expectancy.

As a result, there is no set life expectancy of dogs that can be expected of all breeds. Check out Canine Journal for a dog breed life expectancy list for some common breeds.

When is a Dog a Senior?

If you are wondering how old is a senior dog, a dog is generally considered a puppy until they are about 1-2 years of age because they are still growing. Once fully grown, a dog is considered an adult until they are approximately 7 years of age (and during this time their health, behavior and energy should generally remain stable).

Though they may still be jumping around and as energetic as ever, veterinarians generally consider a dog to fall into the senior category when they cross the age of 7. Because the life expectancy of larger dogs is generally lower than that of smaller dogs, large breed dogs tend to be considered seniors earlier than small breed dogs.

What are some Common Signs of Aging in Dogs?

A senior dog is one that has crossed the threshold from adulthood into their geriatric (or golden) years. Though age is an indicator of a dog being a senior, it is not necessarily conclusive.

There is something called chronological aging (which is the dog’s actual age) but there is also physical aging (which is the age of the dog’s body or the condition of the dog). A dog can age rapidly based on genetic or environmental conditions; it can also live a longer life based on proper nutrition and care.

Dog Age in Human Years

This content is written by our Clinical Advisory Board for informational purposes only. It should not be viewed as an endorsement for any product or as a substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

Supplements for Senior Dogs

Many people believe that when dogs age, it is inevitable for them to slow down, experience pain and ultimately lose their liveliness and enjoyment of life. This is not always true. With the right veterinary care, exercise and nutrition regimen, and proper supplementation, you can help keep your senior dog as healthy and as happy as possible.

What Happens as Dogs Age?

Like all of us, senior dogs tend to show their age in their bones and joints. Osteoarthritis, or an inflammation of the joints, is a common senior dog health issue. However, dogs can also suffer from joint damage in their younger years that hastens the process of joint degeneration.

As dogs age, the connective tissue between the bones and joints begins to lose its elasticity. Over time, as joints rub together, wear and tear begins. Once this process starts, it tends to proceed until inflammation and pain develops. In turn, the pain may cause the dog to move unnaturally, further deteriorating the joints. It is a vicious cycle that is often accepted as "the norm" for aging pets.

However, there are steps you can take as a responsible pet parent to help address joint pain and lack of mobility. By taking your dog to the veterinarian for regular preventive check-ups, providing high-quality and balanced nutrition, and making sure that your dog gets enough exercise and maintains a healthy weight, you will be able to observe the difference in their health in the golden years. In addition, giving your dog a good bone and joint supplement can help them maintain strong bones and joints for years of good health, mobility and happiness.

Avoiding Bone and Joint Issues In Senior Dogs

When it comes to the best medicine or treatment for canine bone and joint issues in senior or aging dogs, there are many options out there from NSAIDS, surgery, orthotics, physical therapy, holistic options, and a host of supplements. It can be confusing to make decisions, such as which medicine is best for joint pain or which supplements are best for supporting bone and joint health. The best way to create a regimen to support your dog's bones and joints is to find a veterinarian who really understands your dogs age and condition. A high quality food, adequate exercise, regular wellness visits, and supplements, can all be important aspects in preserving your dog's health.

Choosing the right supplements for senior dogs can be confusing. There are many products on the market claiming to help older canines, but not all of them work. If you are choosing a supplement, there are certain things that you want to look for, such as the right combination and dosing, science-based effective formulations, and high quality ingredients. Natural supplements should always be a part of your dog's daily regimen for peak health, through all stages of life, but especially after your pet begins to age.  

How a Bone and Joint Supplement Can Help a Senior Dog

As for supplement options go, Boneo Canine® is a premium supplement that can support both bone and joint health of your dog. Giving the right oral supplement products can help your dog in several ways.

How Bone and Joint Supplements Can Help Senior Dogs

By keeping your pet's joints healthy and working well, you can keep your dog happy and healthy throughout their life. The key to this is to start early and maintain good health before your dog starts to show issues.

How to Choose the Right Supplement for Your Senior Dog

Look for a supplement that is good quality in terms of ingredients, has a proper website with information and sealed packaging, and isn't making outrageous claims about curing cancer or any diseases (such claims are not ethical). The most important thing when it comes to a supplement for your dog, aside from it having safe ingredients, is to have accurate dosing and palatability (or taste).

Dosing

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, so dosing becomes very important. Especially when it comes to senior dogs, they can be susceptible to liver and kidney problems from over-supplementation as they are already losing the optimal functioning of these symptoms. Therefore, finding a 1500 mg glucosamine tablet or 500 mg calcium tablet may not be the way to go. Talk to your vet about making sure that you are getting regular bloodwork done to look for an nutrient deficiencies or excesses in your dog. Then you can find a supplement that has the right quantities to support your dog's specific needs.

Palatability

The supplement you choose for your senior dog should be simple and easy to give so that you will stick with it for the rest of your dog's life. It is easy to stop giving a supplement if your dog fights you every single day, making both you and your dog miserable. You want an easy-to-swallow tablet or other form of supplement that you can simply hand over to your pet to be devoured as a yummy "treat." This will encourage both you and your pet to stick with the supplement regimen. It is very important to keep your pet on a good supplement once started, or you may lose the ground you have gained.

Boneo Canine® is liver and sausage flavored, and comes as a chewable tablet, so it helps to tackle this issue. Moreover, it is easy to crush up and mix into food, so even the most finicky of dogs will be able to take this product every day.

Generic Joint Supplements

Generic joint supplements commonly contain ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM); unfortunately these generic joint supplements only target joint lubrication and mobility and do no support bone health. If you intend to continue your dog on generic joint supplement, consider adding Boneo Canine® to your dog's current regimen so you can provide bone support as well. This glucosamine-free formula contains a patented lactoferrin complex that strengthens the bones by promoting bone remodeling and bone turnover, while maintaining the health of the joints by supporting the production of cartilage-producing cells and down-regulating inflammation.

What Makes BONEO Canine Different

Boneo Canine® is a great choice as a glucosamine alternative for your senior dog as it addresses much more than a traditional glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM joint supplement. Since it has no glucosamine, you can use it synergistically with your senior dog's current regimen and also by itself. This all natural product based around a patented lactoferrin blend called Neo-Portin® Complex. This all natural blend of proteins contains ribonuclease-enriched lactoferrin or R-ELF. R-ELF has been shown in clinical studies to support healthy bone density and manage inflammation, a key to good health in dogs. The lactose-free formula is easy to digest and goes to work immediately, supporting healthy bone density and helping to keep your pet in optimum health. The all-in-one protection for your dog contained in this supplement includes essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well.

Boneo Canine® bone and joint supplement can be given to your dog every day for the rest of its life in the form of a liver-flavored tablet that dogs love. The number of tablets you give each day is determined by your dog's body weight. For small dogs, give just one tablet a day; for medium dogs, two; and for large dogs, three. This easy-to-follow system is designed to ensure that it is simple to give your pet the right amount of joint supplement every day. With the help of Boneo Canine®, you will have the right combination of ingredients in a single supplement to support your dog's health needs. A dose per day of this all natural formula may help your senior dog maintain good joint and bone health.