In general, giant breed dogs age faster than smaller breed dogs. A Great Dane is considered to be senior by 5-6 years old whereas a Chihuahua would likely only be middle-aged then, and not considered a senior until 10-11 years. Large breed dogs fall somewhere in the middle. A Golden Retriever might be considered senior by 8-10 years of age. Genetics, nutrition, environment; all of these play a role in how fast your dog ages.
Dental disease is certainly not the only disease that can lead to weight loss. Senior dogs frequently suffer from kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease and other conditions that may result in weight loss.
Without proper care, dental disease can pose a problem, particularly for older pets. You may be surprised to learn that veterinarians find evidence of dental disease in many pets as early as 2-3 years of age. If nothing is done to care for your dog’s mouth, by the time your dog is a senior, he may even have lost some teeth. Dental disease can be painful, causing your dog to avoid or have difficulty eating his meals. This may result in weight loss and an unkempt hair coat.
Ask us about a routine dental cleaning at your next visit. This is a great way to extend your dog’s health and well being.