How old is my rescue dog? This is a question that many people ask when they bring home their new best friend. And how would you know how old your rescue dog really was if he came from an animal shelter or the street?
There are many signs of aging, and some can be easier to detect than others. For example, dogs mouths will change as they age and it's easy to see this with a quick glance in his mouth!
Unfortunately due to mixed breeds and so many other unknowns about your dog, there isn't a guaranteed way for you to tell how old he or she is. While we cannot tell you exactly how old your pup is without running tests, here are a few things to look for to help understand your dog's age.
Your Dog's Teeth
Since dogs can't tell us how old they are, it's up to you to take a quick look at his or her mouth. As your dog ages, the baby teeth will change shape and size (usually starting from their teens), this is normal for all animals but especially true with dogs! You'll notice that the snaggletooth begins to change to a pointy one and the large permanent teeth will start moving up.
Look for puppy teeth on younger looking dogs or tartar built up on older dogs. Tartar starts to build around year 4. With aging, the tartar builds up and thickens over time.
Your Dog's Eyes
Dogs will lose almost all of their "puppy" look as they age. You'll notice how the eyes will start to sink a little, making them appear tired or sad looking. This is due to the fatty tissue around the eye shrinking and moving back into place with time. Other signs include cloudy lenses which can be caused by cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes.
Your Dog's Bones and Joints
The joints will start to feel more loose as they age which can lead to more frequent trips for injuries or time spent licking the area. Bones themselves are not affected so much in how old is my rescue dog but you might notice how the hips lose their flexibility causing less mobility.
Your Dog's Fur
While greying under the chin isn't a great age indicator, full body greying on the chest and face can be more indicative of an older dog. HairThe fur may become coarser and drier without the sheen of health and youth. loss can also be a sign of how old is my rescue dog.
Your Dog's Skin
A clear indicator that how old your rescue dog as well as the number one reason for how old is my rescue dog to feel unwell, skin changes are often very noticeable on an older animal. Changes in texture and condition should not be ignored as they could indicate loss in muscle tone.
Your Dog's Sleep Pattern
The natural aging process slows down your dog's metabolism, causing them to require even more rest. Just like humans.
How old your rescue dog is can be determined by how much sleep they get. As the animal ages, their need for sleep also increases which means that how old my rescue dog may start to nap during the day and not want to play or go for walks anymore.
You can learn more about your dog's sleep patterns on another of our blog posts!
What are the Signs of Aging in Senior Dogs?
Some of the primary indicators that your older dog is a senior include, developing lumps on their bodies, noticeably slowing down, decrease in muscle tone, etc.
If you're dog appears to be an older senior and having accidents, it may be time take take your pup into the vet for a check-up. This is especially true if he or she is house trained and typically is accident-free in your home.
Getting a rescue dog is an amazing experience. You get to provide your new pup with the love and care they deserve from their previous life, but it can be hard to know when you should start worrying about signs of aging in senior dogs. These are some common indicators that your canine pal may be getting on in senior years, so take note if any of these seem familiar!
If you're not sure what's going on or how to handle things, don't worry - we have articles for all of this and more at our blog. Subscribe today to stay up-to-date with everything pet related!