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Q: How Old Is Too Old?

October 12, 2011 | By Poppy W. | 2 answers | Expired: 1003 days ago

Tags: older dog

Poppy W.

Beau is 16, and we just got back from vacation. We took the car, and he wasn't in his crate, and he was free to walk around the car. But, he just stayed curled up in the kennel the whole time we were driving. He used to always be close to us all the time, but now he's getting spacey and this is VERY weird, for him. Any thing?

Readers' Answers (2)
Jillian
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Oct 12, 2011

16 is geriatric for a German Shepherd. Though this can be senility, it can just as easily be something more concerning. Senile dogs will begin to pace, circle rooms, scratch at the floor, and stare at walls. At 16, he could have a lot going on with him. Anytime your pet begins to act in a way uncharacteristic of them, you'll want to see a vet. Beau is a good example of that. He'll need a blood test done first to check his blood count and liver and kidneys and whatnot before you can move on to anything else.

Once an animal reaches their senior years {about 6-8 for GSDs}, you want to have annual blood tests. When they reach their geriatric years {I think this is around 12 for GSDs}, you'll need to do those twice a year. This is b/c little disturbances become common in older animals and you want to find it before it gets worse.

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Kelly
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Oct 12, 2011

Dogs slow down as they get older. They're not going to get excited and act like youngsters like they used to after a certain age. A 16-year-old dog is the equivalent of an 80-year-old person. Some are going to be more active based on their overall health. Others just want to sit back, rock on the front porch, and remember the good old days. To provide him with the optimal life, he should get a regular physical by the vet, get mental stimulation, the exercise he can tolerate, and eat a premium quality dog food free of grains, fillers, and preservatives. But regular vet checks are your first line of defense against old age decline.

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