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Nobody is immune from the ravages of aging, not even your French bulldog.
Your dog has given you many wonderful years of friendship and love. So it may be difficult for you to believe that your precious little pet is no longer active and is not the same as you once have.
Every dog has a different age to be considered senior. In the case of large breed dogs, they are considered mature early because larger dogs mature faster.
In the case of your beloved French bulldog, when he reaches the age of eight-year then he is considered senior.
When your dog gets old you should adjust yourself accordingly.
Your senior French bulldog has specific care requirements, now if you follow them that will keep him healthy and happy for many years to come.
If you are a proud owner of a French bulldog and you want to know the signs of aging French bulldog OR
What are the tips to take care of your old French bulldog? OR
What are the health problems of aging French bulldogs and how you can prevent them?
Then this article is especially for you.
An Old French Bulldog needs more attention
When your French bulldog spends his sixth birthday, it is time to consider him older and you should schedule a medical check-up with your veterinarian.
Your vet will perform several tests to analyze the physical condition of your senior French bulldog.
These tests include blood tests, kidney function tests, joint problems and hearing, and vision loss test.
As your dog gets older he is more prone to tumors so be careful and investigate even the minor lump or bump. Biopsies are often performed to ensure the early detection of disease.
Signs of aging in French bulldogs
As your dog ages, this age will affect his behavior mobility and temperament. You need to be familiar with these signs of aging.
Common signs seen in aging French bulldogs are
- They will lose the sharpness of their senses with time.
- Senior French bulldogs will lose their eyesight; night vision loss is a common problem.
- They will feel difficulty in hearing.
- Your dog will show difficulty in getting up and down and in climbing stairs.
- Your dog will feel difficulty in taste and smell this will affect the health of your dog.
- Your dog will feel dental issues. Loss of teeth is a common problem in old age French bulldogs.
Health problems in aging French bulldog
Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain and stiffness in dogs. It is a progressive degenerative disease that causes loss of lubrication and damage of cartilage on the shoulders, hips and leg joints.
Like humans, your dog can also suffer from dementia in old age. Its symptom is similar to those of Alzheimer’s in humans.
Confusion and puzzlement, whining or barking for no obvious reason, appearing to get lost in a familiar environment, and bathroom accidents can all be signs of dementia.
Sadly, there is no treatment for dementia.
As your dog ages, they are at greater risk for many diseases, including cancer. Nearly a third of all dogs older than seven years will suffer from cancer at some point in their lives.
There are many different types of cancer, such as lymphoma, melanoma, and prostate cancer, and the illness can occur all over the body.
Heart diseases can also develop when your frenchie ages. One of the common heart diseases in French bulldog is congestive heart failure in which the heart is not able to pump blood efficiently and fluid backup in the heart, lungs and chest cavity.
Signs seen in heart disease are coughing, difficult breathing, exercise intolerance and loss of consciousness.
Obesity has a significant impact on the health of your Frenchie especially when your dog is getting older and he is less active.
If your Frenchie is suffering from obesity, then your dog is more prone to illness, such as diabetes, heart problems, arthritis and a certain type of cancers.
The gastrointestinal system of your French bulldog is affected by age. Your dog will suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. So it’s important to talk to your vet about your Frenchie health.
The kidney will lose his function as your French bulldog gets older. Chronic kidney disease is not curable but with proper management, you can prolog dog’s life.
Kidney issues can also be caused by certain medications used to treat health issues. Proper nutrition is an important factor in keeping a healthy kidney for your Frenchie.
Tips to care of senior French bulldog
Here are some of the tips that you can keep your Frenchie healthy and happy in senior age.
A regular visit to the veterinarian
Your senior French bulldog needs to be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year even if he does not show any illness.
While your dog ages, there are many diseases that remain hidden and they are not revealed without proper testing.
Keep an eye on your dog’s weight
One of the biggest health indicators is bodyweight in French bulldog. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your old bulldog has an ideal weight, overweight, or underweight.
If your dog is overweight than use proper diet, do regular exercise and keep in touch with your vet.
An overweight French bulldog must be fed carefully to ensure that all nutrient needs are met and allow maintenance or weight loss.
Use specialized dog food that is lower in calories and high in L carnitine. Strictly check the carbohydrates in your Frenchie diet because they play an important factor in increasing or maintaining dog weight.
Use specialized dog diet
If your senior French bulldog is suffering from different health issues related to diet than you can use different supplements in your dog diet to improve his health status according to your vet prescription.
Different supplements are used for different diseases such as:
Supplements for arthritis
You can use supplements that are rich in healthy fatty acids like fish oil; it has many health benefits including improvement of brain health, skin condition, coat condition, immune system health and joint-related issues like arthritis.
Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are used in senior French bulldogs. They are the compounds that are found in healthy cartilage. Joint pain occurs in dogs due to wear and tear of cartilage and loss of joint fluid.
If you use Glucosamine in the diet of dog they will reduce the pain and helps in cartilage regeneration. Glucosamine also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Chondroitin sulfate helps in retaining the lubrication fluid in joints, these supplements work well when using in combination with essential fatty acid.
Use of probiotics for Gut health
The digestive system of a senior dog works well until beneficial bacteria are present in their gut.
Probiotics help to replace weak bacteria and aid the healthy bacteria that are under stress due to illness, medication and other causes.
If your dog gut micro flora is disturbed than he will face many digestive issues and immune system dysfunction. Probiotics supplement help to keep the micro flora level balanced.
Healthy gut health can provide important benefits for an aging French bulldog. There is evidence that probiotics boost the immune system which can help your French bulldog defenses against infections and autoimmune diseases.
Special diet for kidney and heart issues
You can use a modified diet that has a lower sodium level in which will help your senior dog to cope with heart diseases.
A modified that helps to control the calcium and phosphorus level in the body is ideal for dogs with kidney diseases.
Prevention and maintenance in senior French bulldog
A proper exercise routine can help prevent many health problems in senior French bulldogs. It will help in overcoming many joint and muscle issues.
If your dog is not used to exercise start a slow exercise and gradually increase the intensity. For senior French bulldog walk around the block may be more than enough exercise.
A good bed is necessary for good sleep and health. As your dog ages, bed requirements also change.
French bulldog arthritis might benefit from sleeping on special dog beds. These beds contain an egg crate or special memory foam material.
You can also provide comfort to your dog by renovating his accommodation. It can prevent many joint issues. Provide carpet and rugs over hard surface flooring that will make him easier to get around.
Oral hygiene is often overlooked in French bulldogs, the thoughts of using a toothbrush in your dog look silly, but it will improve the overall health of your dog.
According to research, 85% of French bulldog suffers from dental issues after 4 years of age.
These issues are of concern if the toothbrush schedule is followed in French bulldogs.
When your Frenchie reaches old age than its time to pay back, you should make your pet a final year as comfortable as you can.
Senior Frenchies have a special requirement that must be met and you have to learn how to take care of them.