Dogs, particularly senior dogs, have “off days” just like people. But, if you notice changes to your dog’s daily routine, eating, drinking or even pooping habits that continue for a couple of days, make an appointment with the veterinarian.
Here are some signs to take into consideration:
THE WATER BOWL
If your dog is constantly drinking, even drinking for longer spells than usual, this is a sign that should not be ignored. And, consequently, if there are changes in her peeing routine too, these could be signs of urinary tract infections, diabetes or kidney issues.
THE FOOD BOWL
Changes in your dog's weight or eating habits can be strong indicators of health issues. Increased weight loss or weight gain are a major red flag. An increased appetite could point to diabetes or hyperthyroidism, which is a glandular disorder. While an increase in appetite AND SIMULTANEOUS weight loss are also signs to act upon. Also, be on alert if your dog starts vomiting regularly. Eating less, particularly if your dog in on a dry food diet, can also point to very common and painful dental issues.
DOGGIE KISSES AND BAD BREATH
Bad breath is often a sign that all is not well in your dog’s mouth. Dogs have tartar issues that can develop into plaque and gingivitis just like in humans. They also get holes in their teeth causing severe and very painful toothache. Changes to her chewing and swallowing patterns are another clue. Bacteria left unattended in the mouth are ingested and can lead to serious illnesses such as heart disease.
SKIN AND COAT
Dull fur and flaky skin can be caused by a variety of factors such as a nutritional issue, but they could also be the symptoms of other more serious issues and we recommend a vet visit to determine the cause.
As dogs age they can suffer from circulation problems and painful arthritis. If she is moving a little slower and hesitant to stand up or use stairs, be sure to visit the vet. There are also many supplements and products that can help make a senior pet more comfortable as their joints get achy.
All dogs, especially senior dogs should have an annual wellness check at the veterinarian, which should include a senior blood panel that will indicate a lot about your dog’s overall state of health.