Today has been chosen as a birthday for all rescued and shelter dogs that don’t have an official recorded date of birth.  August 1st is dedicated to celebrate your adopted dog, no matter when his or her real date of birth may have been. 

This is a great opportunity to start counting your dogs age, either to mark the anniversary of the adoption or to celebrate the age of your 4-legged family member.  Often, the age of dogs that are found or surrendered is estimated by veterinarians or the rescue shelter.  

It is a good idea, if you don’t know the true age of your pet, to take pictures at the time you get him and do so yearly on August 1st to chronicle his aging process.  Things you can look for to determine the aging of your dog include:

Body Shape: As dogs age, the way they distribute their weight changes. Run your hands down your dog’s back on either side of the spine. With age, fat pads usually develop right over your dog’s lower back or lumbar area. Mild muscle wasting, which will lead to a more prominent spine and sometimes a sway-backed appearance, is also indicative of a senior dog.  CanEVA Pet is a natural supplement to help the aging process in dogs and cats, by building muscle mass and helping with the muscle wasting.

Eye appearance and clarity: Take a good look at your dogs’ eyes. If the eyes look cloudy it could be a sign of an age-related condition that causes the lens to look hazy or opaque.  Lenticular sclerosis does not affect vision the same way that cataracts do and cataracts can impair the dogs’ vision. 

Coat Color: Yes, just like humans’ dogs’ coats will begin to whiten with age, usually around the muzzle and eyes.  Just because your dog looks like he may be going grey, don’t get out the hair dye.  Some dogs, such as wire-haired or furnished dogs show a pigment change at a young age.

Teeth: Dogs’ adult teeth are usually all in by about six months of age. Before then, your vet can age puppies by their teeth (and obvious puppyhood) with extremely high accuracy. But once they’re all in, it gets tougher. Generally, dental disease, like tooth wear and loss, periodontal disease, and accumulation of dental calculus or tartar increases with age. But this is confounded by genetics: For example, small breed dogs tend to have more severe dental disease than large dogs. Regardless of size, some dogs accumulate tartar very young whereas others are tartar-free into their senior years.

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