Four Paws Blog - The Ageing Dog.

Four Paws Blog - The Ageing Dog.

2nd, Dec 2019 General News

The Ageing Dog

When we think about our dogs, how much do we actually think about the ways in which they age and how this is going to affect their life as they get older?

It is recommended for your dog to attend a general health check at least twice a year to pick up on any changes that may be an early indicator that your pet is starting to feel their age. This may include a full dental examination, and potentially some routine blood tests to help pick up any underlying medical health issues. It is important to recognise that, as ageing occurs, the immune system within the body can be more susceptible to infection and disease so early recognition and treatment of an illness or ailment is important. Just like humans, as dogs age they are more likely to contract illnesses such as:

  • Heart disease,
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Joint inflammation and arthritis.

Your dog may start to show signs of ageing in other ways, such as not being able to cope in the heat for as long, being unable to effectively groom themselves, they may bruise or graze themselves more easily due to thinner skin and wounds may take longer to heal, they may increase in weight due to reduced activity levels and they may become less agile. Your dog may startle more easily and start taking longer to respond to their name or food calls as their sight and hearing deteriorate. They may be unable to hold their toileting quite as long, their appetite may reduce and they will spend a lot more time sleeping.


To help your dog during their ageing process:

  • Think about investing in steps, ramps or lifting your dog in and out of the car.
  • Smaller and more frequent meals may be digested easier and switching to a senior food is advisable as their dietary requirements change.
  • Complete shorter, more relaxed walks where your dog can enjoy the smells of the environment without putting too much strain on ageing limbs.
  • Entertain your dog with food puzzles and foraging games to keep their mind active
  • Massage and physio can work wonders for stiffness and mobility issues.
  • Raised feeding platforms to stop your pet leaning forward.
  • Raised beds to help your pup getting up after a nap.
  • Plenty of rest and, most importantly, plenty of affection.

When considering the age of your pet it may help to know the equivalent ages in humans to dog years which varies depending on the size of your dog. Please see the table below as a guide.

Dog’s Age in Years Equivalent Human Age for Dogs 0-9kg Equivalent Human Age for Dogs 10-23kg Equivalent Human Age for Dogs 24-40kg Equivalent Human Age for Dogs Over 40kg
1 7 7 8 8
2 13 14 16 18
3 20 21 24 26
4 26 27 31 34
5 33 34 37 41
6 40 42 45 50
7 44 47 50 56
8 48 51 55 64
9 52 56 61 71
10 56 60 66 78
11 60 65 72 86
12 64 69 77 93
13 68 74 82 101
14 72 78 88 108

'Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well'