Senior Pugs – The Basics
Pugs are naturally joyful, playful, and merry little dogs; even Senior Pugs! That’s why knowing when your Pug actually hits his seniority is not that easy, especially if he’s in great shape as he should be. In this article, you’ll learn to identify the different signs that scream that your Pug is now a senior. You’ll also learn:
- Useful safety measures.
- Common misconceptions of senior Pugs.
- And the best items to take care of them.
“A good way to catch such problems early is to establish a baseline health profile while the dog is in mid-life and still in good health. This would involve an annual exam including screening lab work. Then results of routine annual health-checks can be compared to the baseline in order to identify any changes that may require treatment or a more detailed assessment”AKC – American Kennel Club
Common signs of your Pug becoming a senior
As we said before, Pugs are very happy and cheerful little dogs that love to play and are always in for a treat, a walk, or playtime. That’s why the most common way of telling if your Pug is a senior is if he doesn’t have that much energy anymore.
He might be still excited by simple things like his favorite toy, but his energy levels while playing with it don’t last as long. It’s sad, but it will happen. Actually, since Pugs have long lives, they are seniors for the majority of it. Why? Well, the age when Pugs reach seniority varies from Pug to Pug, but, commonly, you start seeing the signs when they reach the age of 7. After that, and if you’re doing a great job taking care of them, they can live up to 15 years!
However, different signs may also announce their golden years:
- Weak joints: It presents mostly in the form of difficulties getting up and sitting down.
- Weight gain or loss: Weight gain is directly associated with the loss of energy. If they maintain the same diets as if they were young, they’ll end up consuming more calories than they need, which will turn into fat quickly. Loss of appetite can also come with age; make sure you take them to the vet if you perceive it.
- Graying hair: They’ll turn silver!
- Vision and hearing issues: If you hear your Pug bumping into things when the lights are out, or if he’s not that responsive when you call him, his vision and hearing are deteriorating. This is normal, but you must take him to the vet to check him for other conditions like cataracts.
- Constipation: If you notice that your dog no longer does his business regularly, it may be a sign of a slowed metabolism. Take him to the vet if this happens.
“… cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age”.AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association
Safety measures and tips to keep Senior Pugs safe
A Senior Pug will require a few modifications to his daily routine, diet, and more. Only you can protect them!
- Change in diet: Senior Pugs will need an immediate change in their diets. They no longer need some of the calories and proteins that come in regular kibble. They need a good amount of calcium, vitamins, a good level of protein, fats, and low carbohydrates. The cherry on top of that would be fiber, so they can poop regularly. Finally, the food needs to be softer as well! Check out here the best food for senior Pugs.
- Change in exercise: Senior Pugs should never stop exercising, but they can’t do hardcore exercises either. One slow-paced 15-minute walk around the neighborhood in the morning and one in during nighttime should suffice. Keeping him active will make him maintain his muscles while keeping him lean, and with good bone density.
- Care routine: His care routine should always stick to the same guidelines we provided you with. Still, you should always pay extra attention to his eyes, coats, paws, teeth, and gums. You should stick to his regular teeth cleaning schedule with brushes, dental treats, and more. Get his eyes checked with the vet every six months. Check his paws and keep his nails with a proper length. Brush his coat thoroughly every day for a few minutes (they’ll love it like a massage!). You should also bath them with warm water instead.
- Pug supplementation: Some golden-year Pugs might need to get some extra vitamins and minerals from direct sources like supplementation. You must take him to the vet to check if he needs them; you should never administer without it being advised. Among the most recommended ones are vitamin b-12, E, C, glucosamine and chondroitin, and different types of healthy oils.
Changes in your house
Once your Pug reaches seniority, you’ll want to make a few changes inside your house. Their joints will hurt if it’s too cold inside, so getting a good heating system is very helpful, especially if they have arthritis. Also, if it’s too hot, a good ventilation system and dehumidifier might be needed. You should also neglect them from climbing up and downstairs, and furniture. If they jump down from your couch or bed, they might be injured.
You need to keep in mind that your Pug will require certain commodities to have happy golden years. Making the necessary changes can be the difference between having an injured elder Pug, and a healthy one.
Misconceptions of Senior Pugs
Senior Pugs don’t require more care than other breeds when they reach seniority. They require just about the same care! There are a few some bigger breeds might not need, like getting them some stairs to climb up a bed. Still, these changes can help a lot as well.
Also, not all senior Pugs suffer from the same issues. Most of the issues that are associated with golden-year Pugs are passed down by their parents. They can be detected early, which is why picking the right puppy from the right breeder is vital!
“While it’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging such as graying haircoat and slower pace, it’s important to remember a pet’s organ systems are also changing. An older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer or arthritis. Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats have a somewhat lower rate”AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association
Frequently Asked Questions – Senior Pugs
While it’s impossible to know what disease your specific dog will be prone to without checking him and his parents, Pugs are prone to suffer from diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, cataracts, and glaucoma. These are also common in other breeds though.
Taking your Pug to the vet can be rather expensive depending on where you are. Still, the adequate number of vet trips per year is about once every three months; four times per year. That only includes regular checks. Still, if he’s got some conditions, taking him more often might be needed.
For most senior Pugs, being left alone is not an issue, especially if they’ve been trained against separation anxiety. If they have this condition, it might not be wise for you to leave them alone. Especially if they have heart conditions or other issues that might be aggravated by loneliness.
If you have a Pug that’s about to enter seniority, you’re in for an interesting ride. This is the time when they calm down, they love to snuggle even more, and when they will need your love more than ever. However, if you want to know if you will have a healthy elderly Pug, you must look into his upbringing. If you gave him the right food, good care, medicine, training, exercise, nurture, and love when he was growing, it’s more probable that he’ll have healthy seniority.
Instead, if you kept him obese, didn’t exercise him properly, nor cared for him from the moment he entered through your door, you can’t expect him to be healthy when he’s more vulnerable!
When talking about Pugs and other pets; caring is loving.
Are you ready to love your grumpy senior Pug?