Help! My Senior Dog Stinks! Why?
By the time our best friends reach their golden years they are pretty much the perfect pets. They know the routines of the household, behave like the model citizens we always knew they were, and seem equally content to nap or go for an ambling walk. In short, they are wonderful companions.
But sometimes, a senior dog can develop a signature odor that is as off putting as it is suspicious. Don’t let that stink drive a wedge between you and your dog. The Pet Experts are here to help.
Front of the Line
We increase your senior dog’s wellness exam from once to twice a year because many age-related illnesses can either be prevented or detected. When a full 12 months goes by, potential issues caused by aging can develop quickly, causing irreparable damage. Left untreated for too long, illness can become impossible, or too expensive, to treat.
Every six months, we recommend bloodwork and other diagnostics, if applicable, to stay ahead of developing issues. As a result, normal processes of aging can be supported instead of allowing them to create life-threatening complications.
Starting Up Front
Doggie breath can definitely worsen in a senior dog. An indicator of periodontal disease, bad breath should be dealt with. Examining their teeth and gums may precede a dental cleaning, assessment and digital x-rays, all conducted while your dog is under anesthesia.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is the way to reduce bad breath and promote long term benefits. Routinely inspect your dog’s mouth for any bleeding, swelling, broken teeth, or other issues.
More About Breath
It is important to note that diabetes and kidney disease can create bad breath. Check for other symptoms, as well, such as changes in drinking and eating habits, coat appearance, and lethargy. These health conditions can be quite serious, but are manageable if caught early.
The Skin and Coat
Your senior dog may have less interest in tending to their grooming habits, or suffer from decreased flexibility resulting from weight gain or arthritis. Either way, their skin or coat may have a distinct odor.
Spend time grooming your senior dog every day. This helps to distribute the skin’s natural oils throughout the coat, minimizing dryness and adding sheen to the hairs.
A dry coat is an itchy one, and constant scratching can lead to skin infections that create funky smells. Yeast infections in the ears, paws, or the folds of skin can also cause a senior dog to smell. Sometimes caused by hypothyroidism, these infections should be handled sooner than later.
The Rear End
Sometimes a senior dog will experience more episodes of indigestion, flatulence, or incontinence. Often, a change in diet and/or lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms. If smells from the rear end persist, it’s possible that they have infected or impacted anal glands.
Loving Your Senior Dog
Their remaining chapters with you can continue to satisfy, but our senior dog depends on you to provide the best possible life. Taking extra care to notice even the smallest changes in behavioral patterns is essential to their longest, healthiest life.
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