It is always disheartening when you look at your furry best friend and notice that she’s aging faster than you are. Always looking as if she’s becoming older, weaker and less cheerful.
It can be problematic, especially to deal with the feeling of your puppy dying, and your kids might get sad about losing their best friend. It’s totally okay to get sad; what can we do, really? No one thinks it’s cool or takes it lightly when their puppy ages faster than them.
Well, while your puppy’s biology relating to the aging process is faster than humans, it is ok to accept this and deal with it before your puppy eventually leaves. However, there are so many myths surrounding dogs and their aging, and in this article, we try to demystify these myths and answer some questions like; why do dogs age fast? Is one human year 7 years for a dog?
Do Dogs Age Fast?
A lot of dog owners would agree that we truly don’t deserve dogs – for all their innocence and love. There are several things about them that we love, and there must be a hundred and one reasons you won’t want to do away with your puppy.
However, while we can train your puppies to do several things, there is one thing beyond the control of your puppy and that’s their age. You can live up to 80 years or more, but the reality is that your dog’s lifespan is much shorter. So, yes – dogs age faster.
Is Your Dog’s Seven Years Equal to One of Yours?
The truth is that you might have been using the “rule of paw” as many other people to calculate your dog’s age, and you have calculated the dog’s age using the 7 years of dog’s age to I human years rule, but is that even accurate? Are 1 human year 7 years of a dog?
While dogs age at a different rate compared to us for many reasons, the rule of 7 dog years to 1 human year isn’t near being accurate. Scientists and Researchers American Veterinary Medical Association have conducted many studies and found out the following results about your dog’s age.
The younger years of a medium-sized dog are approximately up to 15 years of a normal human being. And after the younger years, dogs are almost about 9 years that of a human being.
The elder years of a dog are approximately 4 to 5 years to that of a human being, and this entails that at the beginning of a dog’s life, she tends to age rapidly, slows at the later years, and these vary among different breeds.
The Reason Why Your Dog’s Life is Shorter and Why Dogs Age Faster
There are various reasons why your dog ages faster; they may include the following?
Our four-legged buddies have an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years, and it can be heartbreaking to us when we accept why dogs die quicker than humans. But why do they live for only such a short time? Asides from them being too lovely to live in this world… Let’s see other reasons from actual studies.
There are so many things that affect a dog’s lifespan but primarily, dogs age faster because of their metabolism and genetic matchup. Dogs have a higher metabolism, and their body works harder than us. Haven’t you noticed how much energy emanates from your dog when she is happy?
A dog’s heart beats much faster than ours,’ and their body and system tend to wear off more quickly than a human’s. You can think of it as a nice car with a full tank that uses up its full tank rapidly because that’s the way it is for dogs. They’re filled with so much juice it gets spent so quickly.
Another factor that may be the reason why dogs age faster is considered to be evolutionary pressure that has been passed down through their genes as a way for the old dogs to make for your younger ones to survive interns of food availability, shelter, mating mates, etc.
Other reasons that make a dog age faster are reasons that may vary from one dog to another in their aging process and how quickly they will die than humans. These reasons include:
Breed and size
Small dogs have been noticed to have a larger lifespan but not for a long time; they could live for up to 15 or 16 years, medium and large ones, 10 to 13 years, while the giant breeds or larger-sized dogs sometimes live up to 7 or 8 years.
That shows that size plays a huge part in deciding how fast your puppy would die and how fast it will age. So, if you easily get emotionally attached, and you’re want to get another dog, keep the size factor in mind.
Diet and nutrition
The food your dog eats also affects her aging process and how fast she will age. Good dog nutrition has been noticed to help reduce how fast dogs age. Senior Dogs who were given senior food commercially manufactured had found in a study to live more than those who feed on non-senior dog diets.
Spaying and neutering
It has also been found that neutered females aged slower and lived the longest of dogs dying for many reasons. Neutering, therefore, reduces the possibility of early death in dogs.
Now that we know the reasons dogs age fast; it is crucial to note that scientists have concluded that it is not only one of these reasons but their combination that makes dogs age faster than humans.
Effects of Aging in Dogs.
It will be important for you to know the effects aging might have on your dog. They may include the following:
- Loss of hearing
- Decreased activity
- Loss of vision
- Weight gain or loss in your puppy
- Weakening of the immune system resulting in continuous infections
- Loss of teeth.
- Loss of interest in things that used to drive your puppy before
- Thicker nails that make trimming harder
- Muscular weakness
- Skin changes such as lightening, dryness, etc.
- Fur changes, such as whitening of hair
- Tumors and mammary cysts in female dogs.
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Loss of appetite.
With all that sadness, it shows that there are different effects that aging could have on your dog. While they are mild, others can be extreme, and you can visit a vet to help in the situation. However, most effects are not curable but can be managed. What says you must know the top diseases that affect aging dogs.
Diseases That Affect Aging Dogs and Their Symptoms.
The effects of aging in dogs could be as a result of any of the following disease that is common during aging of dogs.
We all know that dogs like walking and jumping around, so if you notice your dog limping or avoiding to walk, that may be early signs of arthritis. Arthritis is a very common disease among aging dogs, where the joints become swollen. Some larger sizes dogs have tendencies to develop this disease. Well, the best way to manage and prevent it is through weight management. Nonetheless, when you notice such a joint disease, call your vet.
As our vision gradually becomes impaired when we age, so do dogs’ too. The major cause of these in dogs is diabetics and glaucoma. This can be hard to notice in dogs because they use other senses more often than humans, but common symptoms are running into objects, discolored or swollen eyes.
This is caused by the slowing of the mind. Aging dogs begin to move very slow, and this can slow all motor and mental abilities.
Heart and kidney disease
This is very tricky to notice and can lead to loss of the internal organs. Heart disease symptoms include coughing, breathing fast, etc., while that if the kidney includes frequent urination. Both diseases are preventable if noticed early.
We all know how much dogs love to take walks, and cats love to jump onto their perch. If your pet begins limping on those walks or is hesitating to run and jump on their perch, it could be a sign that needs to be checked.
How to Take Care of Your Aging Dog
There are various ways to take care of your aging dog while having fun at the same time. By giving more attention to aging dogs’ health, and taking some preventative options, you can keep your aging dog healthy and even protect her from some age-related dog issues.
That your dog is aging and now slow doesn’t mean that she can’t be happy, and you would want to know how to keep your pup happy, won’t you?
1. Keep training them.
As your dog ages, she might not be able to move as she used to. She might even forget some of the commands. Caring for your dog at this age of their life would be for you to keep training them. This will offer them a chance to be motivated and indulge in exercises that would greatly benefit them. So, create a schedule for your puppy and restart your training today.
2. Fewer calories in their food.
Giving that dogs are not much slower and thus need lower calories to burn, they do not need many calories in their food. This will also prevent them from adding much weight and, in the same way, protect them from joint-related issues like arthritis.
3. Spend more time with them.
Dogs need lots of company. If yours is aging, that’s more reason to not have her left alone. Spend time with your aging dog as you use to when she was a pup. This could help your dog feel comfortable and help you notice that health issues are occurring, so you can report them to the vet earlier.
4. Help prevent healthy joints.
If your aging dog finds exercise difficult, you can help her by feeding her turmeric and indulging her in less strenuous activities, like swimming.
5. Teeth and nutrition.
Think about their teeth and nutrition, as older dogs’ teeth are not as strong as they use to be; change their food to match this purpose. There are dog foods specially made for senior dogs.
6. Move their water and food bowl.
If your dog is aging and becoming slower it’s better to have their bowl of water far away from them so that they would have to stress much to get to it.
7. Keep their brain active.
You can keep their brain active by making them smell out treats for themselves. This will help them stay active.
Oh yes. There are so many things you can do for your aging dog to give them a good time, keep them active, and help them adjust to the environment as they age. It could give you and your dog some more years to spend together.
Can you reduce how fast you dog age?
As much as everything about an aging dog is sad, there’s something you can do about it. Can you reduce how fast your dog age? Increase her longevity? Even if it’s just for a bit. Yes, you can. By indulging in the following activities, you can lower how fast your dog ages.
- Keep your dog trim
- Indulge in lots of exercises with your dog.
- Give your dog a complete diet.
- Always consider the changes your dog is going through in any decision you make.
- Act fast whenever your dog gets sick.
- Go for regular checks with the veterinarian.
Final thoughts and saying goodbye.
No one is ever ready to say goodbye or is ready to deal with the loss of a loved pet. You aren’t ready. We aren’t ready. And it’s hard to watch your lovely pup go.
However, when your dog pal starts slowing down and eventually starts showing signs of the last days. Make sure you both enjoy and last of these days and keep the memory. One other last thing you might owe your pup is a painless death.
Ask your pet doctor about the available options and be happy for your puppy will be happy he lived a life with you.