Becke coming out of the tunnell
Another sign of a dog getting older is hearing loss. It's slow and again most owners don't notice it until it's just about gone. They may not hear you call and so touch becomes so very important. When I'm walking Becke and want to change direction, instead of pulling her harness (which can cause her to fall over) I touch her back. She looks at me and then I change direction. She can see me moving in a different direction and will follow me as I move. This also works when I am moving from one room to another. She may not notice that I am leaving a room to go to bed or down the hall to my office. By touching her she knows something is about to happen. She can then decide if she wants to join me or not, but she will not be surprised to be in an empty room. Do you touch your dog? Start now and it will not seem strainge to them later.
Skin and coat changes occur as well. I told you yesterday that Becke cannot use those spot on flea and tick treatments anymore and hasn't been able to since she was 10 years old. There can be other problems as well. Fatty tumors show up, sores on the skin don't heal as quickly or hot spots show up more often. Sores in the mouth or under the skin may appear. Regular, soft grooming (especially the teeth and ears) willl allow you to see the changes and contact either the vet or groomer for advice. Either groom your dog yourself or visit a groomer often. Becke goes to the groomer every month for a quick oatmeal bath. Her nails and ears are also cleaned and she gets a once over from the groomer.
Older dogs often have problems keeping their body temperatures level. The inability to either stay warm or cool off can really be a problem. We've had temps down to -21 this winter so coats are so important to help her stay warm. Becke has several coats for the winter and in the summer, the A/C goes into the windows as soon as Becke complains. Thi is something that Hubby looks forwarded to since I don't get hot enough to want the A/C on - EVER!
Monday I'll talk about making the older dog comfortable.