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Old dogs: when do four-legged friends become senior citizens?


It is unavoidable: Not only do people get old, old dogs are also inevitable in the cycle of nature. The aging process is not in the eye of the beholder - there are clear signs when your four-legged friend becomes a senior. Here you can read which signals you should pay attention to, what the consequences are and how you can enjoy your aging companion for as long as possible. An older dog should also stay slim and have enough exercise - Shutterstock / Alex Mladek

Of course, the years do not leave their four-legged friend without a trace. Old dogs can no longer go full throttle, become weaker overall and have to accept restrictions. Nevertheless, it is best possible to do a lot with the cold snout even in senior age. First of all, you should realize that your dog is of an age that qualifies him for retirement.

Signs when your dog is getting old

Aging is also a gradual process for four-legged friends, which never takes place overnight. At some point, however, comes the point at which you notice clear signs. For example, your dog takes more time, takes additional breaks, and takes more naps than before. This will reduce muscle mass and your companion may well put on some love handles. On the outside, gray hair, like in humans, is an indication of advancing age.

Your dog may be less able to concentrate and hear, smell and see less well. The sense of taste is also deteriorating, old dogs often no longer eat as well as they used to. Tartar and worn joints bring further restrictions - your best friend is old and can now be described as a senior.

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Consequences of aging that will be difficult for your dog

Unlike you, your four-legged friend has to deal with the consequences mentioned directly. The waning sensations restrict, the joints hurt, the bladder presses or can no longer be controlled as usual and the waning ability to concentrate is a problem for new experiences. Your dog may also lose some hygiene or become demented. Accordingly, he demands more care, more attention and more will to continue to challenge and care for him. Especially when old dogs are no longer able to romp and join in like before: it is now up to you to compensate for this with an optimal all-round package.

What can you do when your dog gets old?

Your dog will grow old, push a calmer ball and will not be able to move as before. Means: The energy supplied by dog ​​food must also be reduced. There are special senior food for old dogs that have less energy but still have all the important nutrients on board. In addition to food, there are many other things you can do when your four-legged friend gets old.

Keep your body and mind occupied, for example with your favorite toys and activities. Go on walks, whether for running, splashing around or to spend time with familiar or new four-legged friends. The latter social contacts are extremely beneficial for the dog, especially in old age. Provide more warmth when your companion gets old. In particular, when lying on the floor, it must never be too cold or even damp. Give your dog the rest it needs and protect it from unnecessary stress. For this, follow previous rituals and routines such as eating and walking.

Young to old - calculation in human years

The following applies to young and old dogs: the rule of thumb that a dog year corresponds to seven human years is hardly meaningful. In the first twelve months her four-legged friend is doing a lot and the teenage years are just rushing by. Then the aging process can take significantly more time. In addition, the size of the dog is significant.

Here are three calculation models for young and old dogs that come closer together:

Small dogs up to 15 kg:

  • ● 12 months corresponds to 17 to 19 human years
  • ● Five years: 33 to 38 human years
  • ● Ten years: 60 to 65 human years
  • ● 15 years: 85 to 90 human years

Medium-sized dogs around 25 kilos:

  • ● 12 months corresponds to 15 to 16 human years
  • ● Five years: 40 to 45 human years
  • ● Ten years: 65 to 75 human years
  • ● 15 years: around 100 human years

Large dogs over 40 kilos:

  • ● 12 months corresponds to 14 to 15 human years
  • ● Five years: 45 to 50 human years
  • ● Ten years: 75 to 85 human years
  • ● 15 years: Methuselah and very rare