Your young pup was one frisky fellow, and now he is an old pup that has physically and behaviourally. Be aware of the changes in your old dog, and make sure he is still treated like the top dog in the family!
1. Physical Changes
a. May be a bit heavier.
b. May be much thinner.
c. He probably will have less hair on his doggy body. His tummy will experience the most hair loss.
d. His muzzle will be interspersed with gray or white hair.
e. He may have some skin tumors that are usually benign, but must be checked out by the vet.
f. His skin will be thicker
g. Calloused elbows appear, as well as calloused hocks. Callouses will probably form on your old dogs bony parts.
h. In females, breasts will sag and hang down. The nipples will appear wrinkled and larger.
i. Your old dog may become hard of hearing. His eyesight will be compromised also.
j. If your pup is around 11-years-of-age or beyond, cataracts will be present for most dogs.
k. Old dogs lose muscle tone.
l. Your old dog will be less able to fight off disease due to a compromised immune system.
j. His heart, breathing, digestion, and urinary system will show signs of deterioration.
k. He will have a hard time coping with changes in his daily life and environment.
2. Behavior Changes:
a. May be a bit grumpy at times.
b. He may want to snap at folks who annoy him.
c. He will be upset if his normal routine is changed.
d. He may be jealous if attention is not given upon command, and any new pets or family members may make the green-eyed monster arise in your dog.
e. He will want to be top dog, as he should be, in the family despite the arrival of a new baby or new puppy or kitten. Give him the attention he deserves.
Your old dog has served you well for years and has been your devoted friend. You owe him the best care you can provide!