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Our pets mean everything to us. So when they start acting indifferently towards us, it is understandably hurtful. But does he really hate you? That’s doubtful. He may go through many changes as he ages and lack of communication is one of those changes. He tries to tell you things but sometimes, not all the things he tries to convey comes across very clearly. Here are a few things that your senior dog would like you to know.
- He can’t see or hear as well as he used to.If you think he hates you because he’s ignoring you when you call, you’re mistaken. In most probability, he just can’t hear you. If you used to love playing fetch with your dog but now he doesn’t even make an effort, it’s probably because he couldn’t see the ball that you threw. Even if he did see it, it’s doubtful he has the energy to run and retrieve it. Owners usually don’t realize that their dog is losing their senses until it’s severe. One of the most common signs that your dog is losing his eyesight or hearing abilities is aggression.He might not see you come up to him and touch him and react defensively. This is not because he hates you, he simply could not see you. Many dogs who struggle with hearing respond well to vibrations around them. So next time you want to call him, try clapping your hands or knocking on a table.
- He’s way more anxious now.While young and healthy dogs don’t really have a hard time handling a lot of stress, senior dogs find it more difficult. More and more things become unmanageable to him. He will have separation anxiety (sometimes even to the point where he goes through anxiety at night while you’re fast asleep because you’re unresponsive), he may not be welcoming to guests in the house, he may not enjoy interacting with other animals, and he might develop new noise phobias.Try spending more time with him and involving him in activities that stimulate his mind. Take more walks and keep your floors clean and clear of all clutter. Keep to a routine so he knows what to expect and when. Be patient. He might not be as responsive, but he still loves you.
- He will have a difficult time moving around because of sore joints.Joint pain and arthritis are both very common in elderly dogs. While this does not necessarily mean that they can’t ever run and play, they will have difficulty doing the things they used to love. Ask your vet to prescribe some anti-inflammatory pain medication to help with the pain so that he’s more comfortable. Vets may also prescribe specialized meds like Selegiline tabs for dogs to manage behavioural issues linked with old age.