These Are The 6 Most Common Dog Diseases In Older Dogs

With age, the first symptoms do not only appear in humans. Even our dogs are not immune to old age diseases.

Large dog breeds can start showing signs of aging as early as 6 to 7 years, while smaller breeds can stay healthy and alert for up to 9 or 10 years.

Not only, but especially in pedigree dogs, genetic diseases can also prove to be serious during this time.

We have put together a summary of the diseases you can expect, especially when exercise, mental challenges and food do not suit the dog:


This painful joint disease affects ankles, elbows and hips. The sooner you notice that your four-legged friend’s movements are changing or that he is adopting a so-called relieving posture, the easier it is to treat arthrosis.

Targeted physiotherapy is also available for dogs and relieves the pain significantly.

Shepherd dogs are known for their early problems with the musculoskeletal system.

Age-related heart disease

Here, too, early detection is the key to successful treatment. Because heart problems can slowly build up over years. That’s why we want to point out once again how important preventive and control examinations are for your dog.

Heart diseases are found in about 10% of all dogs, as estimated by the Federal Association of Veterinarians for Germany. Small dog breeds are particularly affected.

They can also have an enlarged heart due to genetics and the symptoms can be aggravated by excessive or incorrect movement.

Diabetes mellitus

This metabolic disease occurs in dogs that, like humans, can no longer produce insulin in their pancreas.

A warning sign of this is frequent urination and possibly also weight loss.

Unfortunately, many people today think that they can give their dogs the same food that they eat themselves. However, dogs are meat, not grain eaters.

In addition, cheap treats in particular often consist of grain or vegetables and are not included in the total amount of food by the owners.

Although diabetes can be treated with insulin injections, it has not yet been conclusively clarified whether it can be cured in dogs as in humans through a change in diet.


The clouding of the lenses can lead to blindness in dogs. Here, too, there are dog breeds that bring along genetic defects and are therefore at greater risk.

With these dog breeds in particular, it is important to have regular check-ups with the veterinarian. Dogs with flattened snouts such as pugs or bulldogs are not only more susceptible to cataracts, but also to other eye diseases, as some of them protrude far as bulging eyes.


In recent years, our dogs have also been suffering from dementia as an incurable disease. The triggers for this circumstance are hotly debated, not only in dogs, but above all in humans themselves.

Despite many new approaches and groundbreaking theories, dementia is a progressive, mental decline that can lead to an altered sleep-wake cycle in your dog. Disorientation is an early warning sign.

The good news is that it is at least possible to slow down the process in our dogs.

Deafness to hearing loss

If your dog suddenly seems to ignore your commands and requests, this may be due to the onset of dementia, but more likely to an onset of hearing loss.

As soon as you notice that your darling is not responding to your speech as usual, you should make an appointment with the vet.

Regular check-ups and check-ups are included in most insurance policies for dogs. Really make use of this, not only when you realize that your four-legged friend can hardly hear or understand you anymore.

A breed that is particularly affected by hearing loss is the spaniel, led by the lively Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is also very popular with seniors.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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