Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Signs of Aging in Dogs

BlogPaws Aging Pet Month
Me: “The month of August has been set aside to honor and appreciate our Aging Pets. Did you know that a dog is usually considered a senior when they reach their seventh birthday?”
Bentley: “Now just hold on a dadburn minute. I happen to be seven years old and I don’t consider myself a senior. I am in great shape!”
Me: “I know. I couldn’t agree with you more. You are at the perfect weight, we exercise each day and you eat super healthy food.”
Bentley: “It seems to me that if sixty can be the new forty in humans, why can’t seven be the new four in dogs? There have been huge strides in veterinary medicine. People are taking better care of their pets and dogs’ lifespans are increasing.”
Me: “Senior or geriatric labels differ with the size of a dog. If you were a Chihuahua, your lifespan could be twenty years. Small dogs live longer than let’s say a Great Dane. Some giant breeds can be considered seniors by the age of five. That is because their lifespan is shorter than a toy breed.”
Bentley: “I am a medium size breed and Basset Hounds normally live to be fourteen or fifteen. Now, I am no math whiz but that makes it seem like seven should be considered middle-aged. Whose slippers does a dog have to fetch to get that age bracket raised?”
Me:  “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will talk to our vet about how they view your status. Let’s go over a few signs of aging and see where you fall in each category. Do you have any vision problems?”
Basset in newspaper boy hat and shades

Bentley: “I can see a squirrel in the neighbor’s trees. I can also see where you hide the treats in the laundry room and where you put my favorite toys so that a certain white fluffy dog doesn’t kill them. My vision is second only to my nose in awesomeness.”
Me: “That’s good to know, although you would look great in glasses. How about frequent or strained urination? It doesn’t seem like you are peeing any more than you ever have.”
Bentley: “My flow is fine and you can check any of the mailboxes or fire hydrants on our walk route to verify that statement.”
Me: “That won’t be necessary. I know how often you stop to leave a personal pee-mail to the neighbors. I am at the other end of your leash, you know. Well, this next one is certainly not a worry for you. It is whether you have bad breath or dental problems.”
Basset brushing his teeth

Bentley: “My teeth are in great shape and brushing is one of my favorite things. I don’t floss, but really what dog does? I’ll munch an occasional dental bone, but a daily brushing can really add a couple years onto a dog’s life. I am 0 for three so far. What else do you have?”
Me: “Let’s discuss any lumps, bumps or skin problems that you are experiencing.”
Bentley: “I had that knot on my rear that you were scared was a tumor. My vet aspirated it only to find it was an infected hair follicle. You put Dr. Harvey’s Healing Cream on it when it kept draining and it cleared up like magic. No sign of it or any other bumps. You do a thorough check each time I get a bath. I do have a skin tag, but I’ve had it since I was young. It doesn’t count.”
Me: “That bump was scary and I’m glad that we let our veterinarian drain it. The next thing on our list of aging signs is either losing or gaining weight. I am proud to say that you are at your ideal weight since you’ve lost 11 pounds this past year.”
Bentley: “I’m a studmuffin now. Should I flex or something?”
Me: “No, that’s okay. Do you have any difficulty moving?”
 Basset & Westie catching PrideBites squirrel

Bentley: “Climbing up on the couch sometimes gives me trouble, but it is because of my short legs not my age. I can keep up with Pierre during our squirrel chases. Well, for a few minutes anyway. That boy is insatiable when it comes to running after the tree rats.”
Me: “That brings us to the last item on our list. Are you having any behavior or memory problems?
Bentley: “My mind is like a steel trap. I never forget anything or anyone. You know the time that kid came running out at me hollering and wanting to pet me? I haven’t forgotten it and I still don’t like that little boy. Sheesh, he scared the bejeezus out of me; I though he was rabid! As far as my behavior goes, I am very nearly perfect in every way.”
Me: “It doesn’t sound like you should be considered a senior pet to me. You do have a little white on your face, but a lot of people go gray in their twenties. I think it makes you look sophisticated.”
Basset in leather hat

Bentley: “Thanks, Mom. I don’t consider you a senior citizen either and you have a lot more gray hairs than me. Do you think other pet parents feel the same way?”
Me: “Let’s ask our readers. When do you consider your dog a senior canine citizen? Do you think the senior age should be raised for the average dog considering all of the advancements made in the recent years of veterinary medicine? Leave us your thoughts below.”



  1. Yes! I totally think the senior age should be raised! Dogs are living a lot longer than they used to.....#MaddiethePug is considered a senior and I really do not feel she is AT ALL.

  2. Momma thinks a lot of it depends on da breed - a breed whose average life span is 8 is a lot different than one that's got an average of 15.

    I's a senior any ways ya cuts it at almost 13 though. I prefer sayin I's almost a teenager instead, it sure sounds a lot better.

  3. Well all I can say is I finks that Bentley is a pawfect example of a healthy handsome dog!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  4. Well Forrest is 12 on Thursday and being a lab x staffy he is a good sized boy..bit slower to get up at night but fit as a fiddle and health checks regularly..survived to Eastern Brown snake bites in 12 months so he is a tough boy:) Doc will be 13 in October and has some funny nightly wanders..all fine healthy mild cataracts and a mild heart murmur..tough little terrier...the cats are 14 9 8 an 8 all fine and the sheep are 9 as well..so it is Shady Pines retirement living all round here :) loves Fozziemum..pee ess looking super good Bentley :) xxx

  5. Thanks for mentioning it is aging pets month, we didn't know that and we definitely have one. Katie is starting to age much faster these days. We see big changes in just a month rather than many months but she is still doing pretty well and most importantly, she seems to be quite happy. Mom says I have to get a senior panel this year at the vet! I'm only 8, so I don't know what she is thinking!

  6. Gabby and Jack both qualify as seniors by that rule. Dogs are living much longer, especially if we take care and keep them healthy. Luckily it's only a label.

  7. Mom keeps ignoring the fact we are 8
    Lily & Edward

  8. Bilbo is a definite senior, but he has always been very set in his ways!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  9. 7 years old? Wow, I have never heard that before! Mika is 6!!!!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  10. Me and Stanley are looking at our pawrents when we read this and they are not looking so good . . .

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  11. going on 13 years Mr Bailey is definately a senior and it is showing. Hazel will be 11 but Mabel helps keep her spry!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  12. I totally think the age for seniors should be raised! Good point that 7 is the new 4 LOL! I think a dog should be a senior at maybe 10 yrs old. Can Chihuahuas really live to be 20?? I never heard that one before! How wonderful.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  13. I think 7 seems a bit young to consider a senior, especially for a medium size dog. Sheba - our large dog- didn't start showing her age until about 9 or more, and Cricket, our small dog, is just starting to show it at almost 11.
    Since we do have those 2 aging girls, plus a senior cat, we'll have to come up with a post for this month!
    Don't worry, you're still just a young 'un, Bentley!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  14. Chronologically Sam is nearly 10 though he still acts like he's 3. Boys, what's a fur-mom to do?! :)

  15. I think it is time to revamp the senior age classification. My vet told me Nelly was a senior (she's 8) and I was surprised that the vet hasn't updated her thinking on senior pets. Unless the vet is willing to give Nelly a senior discount on vet visits, I'm going to say she's wrong on this one!

  16. Loved the repartee with Bentley, Melissa.


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