companion who raced ahead to check the trail. Where did the time go? When did our dogs get so old?
One of the first signs of aging is the appearance of gray hairs on the face. While some dogs prematurely gray, most gray hairs will show up around 6-8 years of age. Much older dogs will often have white hairs on their backs, legs, and
even tail too. When you look into your old dog’s eyes, you will likely see a blue-white haziness - aging changes in the lens of the eyes that looks similar to a cataract but is not. It is thought that most dogs get far-sighted as they age. Many don’t seem to see as well in the dark either.
Old dogs tend to experience hearing loss too. Dogs lose their ability to hear low sounds like voices first. Your beloved friend who danced at the door at your arrival a few years ago may now sleep soundly, no longer hearing the car pull in or you calling her. Gently wake her using vibrations by stomping your feet nearby, as a sudden touch may startle her. Many old dogs don’t hear you calling them back inside after going out to go potty either. As your dog ages, prepare for this by flicking the lights on and off at night while calling her inside. When she loses the ability to hear you she will still know you are signaling a return to the house then.
Gray hair, poor vision and hearing loss, while signs of old age, are also signs of a dog whose given many good years to her people. As I said before, old dogs are the best!