For many dog owners, the entire process goes by so fast.

One day your beloved companion is a young puppy, running around and chasing after balls in the park. Then, before you know it, they are older and shuffling around and generally being a bit grumpy!

It happens to even the healthiest of dogs, but as they get older, there is likely to be an increase in health-related issues, which means that not only are their vet visits going to become more frequent, but their needs in the home will also change.

Old sleeping golden retriever.

To help you prepare, whether you have a puppy or a dog who is approaching its older years, it is well worth knowing what some of the more prevalent health issues are in dogs. So, read on to learn more.


The number one issue that many older dogs will face is arthritis. This can be in the form of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, with the latter being an autoimmune disease. Both cause inflammation and can also lead to stiffness and lameness in the legs, as well as minor deformities.

It is a sad fact that larger breeds of dogs, such as Great Danes, German shepherds as well as Labradors, are more prone to developing arthritis, and so, these breeds would likely benefit from you investing in dog insurance lifetime cover policies for them when they are younger, to help you cope with the costs of this disorder as they age.

Dental Disease

Much like people, as dogs get older, they are more prone to suffering from periodontal diseases, as well as tooth loss, gum infections, and tartar buildup. This is why it is so important for your dog to have their teeth cleaned at least once a day and chew on as many dental sticks and bones as they can. Alternatively, you can opt for your dog’s vet to offer professional cleanings, which will ensure that they don’t lose any of their teeth and that their gums remain healthy.


You may have seen a few dogs out and about in your daily life that have lumps and bumps, and it is a sad reality that, much like people, the risk of cancer increases with age in all breeds of dogs. There are various types of cancers, including mammary tumors and lymphoma. So, you will need to ensure that your dog is up to date with all of their veterinary care to ensure that the early signs of the big C are spotted.

Cognitive Dysfunction

It is truly heartbreaking for dog owners to see their older dogs becoming disoriented, confused, and having changes in their sleep patterns, as well as signs of intense distress when separated from their owner or other members of the family. This can just be a normal sign of aging, but much like people, dogs can also develop cognitive dysfunction, which is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This will usually require you to make modifications to the home. Aim to stick to a rigid schedule for your dog and change their diet to minimize the symptoms and be sure to visit their vet for check-ups regularly.