In an unbelievable amount of time, dogs go from adorable, bouncing puppies to adult dogs showing signs of ageing.
From chewing slippers to navigating stairwells, we've got you covered. From zipping around the yard to dozing off for the day, there's something for everyone. From boundless energy to slowed movements and greying muzzles, there's something for everyone.
It's heart-breaking to watch, and it serves as a constant reminder that every day is precious, but why does it happen so quickly?
WHY DO DOGS AGE SO FAST?
To us, our dogs are ideal. There's nothing we don't like about them. However, if we had to pick one flaw in our dogs, it would most likely be something beyond their control. And that's how old they are. While humans can live for 80 years or more, our dogs' lifespans are significantly shorter. That makes us sad because it means they won't be with us for much longer.
Dogs live between the ages of 10 and 18 years on average. Their breed, health, and general lifestyle all play a role in how long they live. However, the exact age difference is determined by the dog's breed and size, as well as their overall health. Some dog breeds are recognised to age significantly faster than others, which explains why their lifespans differ by a few years.
My current dog (Smart), a German Shepherd is just 2 and a half years old, I wouldn’t want to call him an old dog, but our previous family dog that died in year 2019 was pretty old, Jack was 9 years old, a Boerboel dog with so much life and fun to be with, everyone have always loved Jack, the whole neighborhood loved him. Jack gradually reduced in running, exercising, winkles all over his face, couldn’t mate as usual and all signs of geriatric was observed as he aged, on an eventful day, Jack was just found dead in his cage, nothing was wrong nor was there any underlying disease condition. The Vet said its natural death due to his age and activities he does. We all were sober for a few days but then we knew Jack is not going to stay with us forever so we learnt from the situation and learn to always cherish every moment we have and shared with our pets.
WHY DO DOGS AGE SO FAST?
You can see how quickly a puppy ages from the moment he is born, and how, like people, the canine body slowly deteriorates over time.
Although more research is needed before we can fully understand why dogs age so quickly, we do have a general idea of the influencing factors, which we'll look at below. Why do dogs age so quickly?
- Make-up for Genetics
The genetic coding passed down through generations holds every species captive in terms of lifespan. Granted, the numbers fluctuate due to environmental factors, dietary changes, and other determinants, but they do not change quickly or without reason. Dogs, like all other species, can only live for as long as their genes allow, which is typically 10 to 18 years.
- Increased Metabolic Rates
One theory about how quickly dogs age revolves around metabolism, or the chemical processes that take place inside the body. The metabolic rate of a larger animal is usually slower than that of a smaller animal, and vice versa. Due to their small size, dogs have a high metabolic rate, which leads to the formation of more free radicals and a faster rate of cell and tissue deterioration. To put it another way, their bodies have to work harder to function, and as a result, they wear down faster.
HOW TO ASSIST YOUR DOGS IN LIVING A HAPPY LIFE AS THEY GET OLDER
While it's demoralising to think about how short our dogs' lives are, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure that every one of their days is enjoyed to the full extent and that they have the best chance of living the longest life possible.
One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to feed him a high-quality diet from the beginning. Feeding high-quality or homemade diets is also an option, and may be a better choice for promoting longevity, but consult your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure that your dog's daily caloric and nutrient requirements are met.
Exercise is essential for your dog at all stages of his life, but maybe even more so as he ages. Routine exercise will help your dog stay agile for longer, prevent overweight (a biggest cause of untimely death), and discharge endorphins (the feel-good hormones).
Exercise has also been shown to help prevent muscle loss and deterioration, improve circulation, and reduce stress.
- Veterinary Care on a Regular Basis
Many potentially life-threatening conditions can be identified and corrected with regular checkups before they progress past the point of treatment. As your dog ages, your veterinarian can advise you on dietary changes and exercise. Dental health is also crucial, as it has been linked to a longer lifespan.
The rapid rate at which dogs age is believed to be related to rapid development early in life, genetic determinants, and a fast metabolism, which also means that their longevity are much shorter than ours. You can rest assured that your dog isn't thinking about it, and neither should you. Our furry companions' ability to live in the moment is one of the qualities we admire the most. Clearly, there is a lesson to be learned here. Focus on the present and treat each day with your dog as a gift.