Common Behavioral Changes in Senior Dogs

Much like puppies, senior dogs have their own set of behavioral problems that can become a nuisance to pet parents. While older dogs may understand the household rules, they may not have the ability or mindset to follow them. The following are common behavioral changes in senior dogs and how to treat these problems.

Separation Anxiety

Condition :

Separation anxiety is a common disorder found in dogs of all ages, but especially senior pets. This behavioral disorder is seen in dogs that become extremely anxious when the owner is about to leave. When the owner does leave, the dog will often participate in destructive behavior or may chew, howl, bark, salivate excessively, or urinate/defecate in the home. These changes in senior dogs could be due to a change in routine, loss of vision or

hearing, or neurological changes that limit the dog’s ability to adjust accordingly to change.

Treatment :

Dog owners can help their pet cope with separation anxiety by practicing new coming and leaving routines. Changing the way you leave your home can help your dog relax. For example, if you usually pick up your keys to leave, this could trigger anxiety in your dog. Instead, pick up your keys and sit on the couch. Another method of treatment includes short departures that become longer over time. At first you may try leaving only for a few minutes. Extend your time by a few minutes during each departure before returning home. This method can take weeks to months to learn so be patient with your dog.


Condition :

There are many reasons that a senior dog could become aggressive towards humans or other pets. A common reason for aggression is a medical problem or injury that causes pain, such as arthritis or diseases that have a direct effect on the nervous system. Startling a dog that has hearing or vision problems can cause typically nice dogs to growl or bite. Changes in the household, such as a new puppy or household member could also irritate the dog. Stressful situations, such as moving, can also affect a dog’s temperament as they feel nervous or unsure of a situation. This why it is important to teach your dog basic tricks through training because this can also help them to have discipline at home. For more effective training, make sure to use helpful training device. For more information, you can check barx buddy review.

Treatment :

To determine the proper treatment for aggression in senior dogs, pet owners must first find the factors that are contributing to the aggression. If unknown medical conditions or treatment are to blame for aggression, seek the help of a veterinarian to ease the pain of your pet. Watch for common signs of stress, such as excessive panting, and remove the dog from the stressful environment. Certain medications can help to reduce aggression in dogs that are due to anxiety or fear. Always talk to an animal behaviorist or veterinarian to develop the proper treatment plan for your senior pet.

House Soiling

Condition :

Although your senior dog may have been housetrained for years, they may begin having “accidents” in the house. There are several reasons for this behavioral problem with the most common being a medical condition. Various health conditions can cause the dog to urinate or defecate more frequently, such as with diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, or bladder infections. Certain medical conditions can also cause elimination to be painful. Complete loss of bladder or bowel control or incontinence is a common problem among older dogs.

Treatment :

Medical problems that have yet to be diagnosed by a veterinarian should be examined. If problems persist even with professional treatment, a new plan should be recognized for the health and comfort of your pet. There are several things that a pet owner can do to help their pet with elimination problems, such as building a ramp to easily get outside or finding a pet sitter who is able to bring their pets out more frequently. A change in the dog’s food may help to reduce difficulty defecating. All medical conditions should be checked on a regular basis to treat new symptoms that may arise over time.

Editor's choice