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Reasons behind your senior dog’s mood swings
You probably think you know your dog pretty well by the time it reaches senior status. You've been through the training, the addition of kids and many other experiences with the dog that have helped you grow close. However, it is common for older dogs to exhibit personality and behavior changes that may stray from their once playful attitudes.
Growing older can create a lot of new problems in a dog ranging from the development of arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases to ailments such as kidney or liver issues. Behavioral issues may occur alongside other symptoms that may point to a medical condition with your dog. The dog may start to seem disoriented or confused in familiar locations. For example, it might not remember which door is uses to go outside. Dogs that used to love cuddling may now get snippy when you go to pet them.
Other signs that your once-playful pup is feeling the effects of old age include it taking less time to groom itself, leaving it with matted and unkempt coat. The dog may also be less active, sleep poorly and eat less of its pet food.
When you start to notice any of these signs, you should bring the dog to the vet so he or she can try and pinpoint what's causing the mood swings. If the issue seems to be arthritis, the vet may recommend starting the pooch on joint enhancing supplements like Dasuquin with glucosamine for dogs. The vet might also prescribe anti-inflammatory pet drugs like Metacam or Previcox to ease the dog's pain. You can also make your dog more comfortable at home with pet products like a Heated Bolster Dog Bed or Dog Steps with 4 Steps to help it get up and down from its favorite chair. If the vet finds a more serious problem such as cancer, or issues with the canine's kidney, a range of treatment options will be discussed. Starting the dog on a medication like Proin might solve urinary tract issues as it helps to manage incontinence in dogs, while chemotherapy or another program might be suggested if cancer is the prognosis.
Starting your dog on these new healthcare regimens may help it start to feel better physically, which may then improve its mood and overall quality of life.