Changes in Your Aging Retriever
As your Retriever ages, he will go through a variety of different emotional and physical changes. Some of these changes will be easy, while others will be very hard on both you and your dog.
There are many things that will suffer as your dog ages such as his digestive system, eyes, fur, and joints. Not all of these changes will be obvious, until it is a major problem, and there is nothing you can do to help. As an owner you need to be observant of the minor changes, as they will clue you in to a deeper problem.
One change you may notice is how much your dog will slow down. Your dog will not be as energetic as he once was. This change in behavior could be due to sore muscles, joints, and arthritis. The arthritis will cause your dog pain when he moves around, which will in turn, affect his muscles. The more active your dog is in his younger years, the more active he will be later in his life.
If your Retriever is use to walking or running with you every day you should continue this activity. This routine will be good for your dog. You may want to cut back on how far you walk, and maybe walk instead of run. It will also be important for you to adjust your walks to the dogs ability to keep up with you.
As old age sets in, you will begin to notice other changes in your pet. Your dog will no longer be able to jump up on you in excitement when you get home every evening, instead he may just wag his tail to show his excitement. He will probably not show as much excitement towards other activities as well, the lack of excitement is just a general mellowing of your dogs’ personality as they age.
Another change you may notice is how often your dog needs to urinate, this change is probably due to his kidney function. The kidneys tend to loose some of their function and this loss of function will probably not be noticed until it is severe. Your dog will still act normal, except for the frequent need to urinate.
Your dogs’ sight is another thing you will notice your dog struggling with, as they get older. If you see your dog is running into things it is probably due to some loss of his sight. After a while your dog will learn where things are and probably not run into objects as much, so if your dog is having vision problems it is best not to do any furniture rearranging because it will make things harder on your pet. The moving of furniture could throw your dog off and cause him to run into objects again until he learns their new places.
Paying attention to the small changes can help you provide proactive care for your Retreiver. The minor changes your dog goes through in the initial stages of ageing could mean a big change in the health of your dog in the later stages of aging. So diligent attention to your dog could mean the difference between being able to help, or being to late to help with ailments related to your dogs’ aging.