Common Behavior Changes in Senior Dogs

Common Behavior Changes in Senior Dogs

Throughout their life, dogs have behavior problems. While it is hard to have a puppy follow specific rules, older dogs may find it hard to follow them

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Throughout their life, dogs have behavior problems. While it is hard to have a puppy follow specific rules, older dogs may find it hard to follow them. As a dog ages, their behavior towards their human and surrounding may change. Doctors at Virginia Beach animal hospital suggest keeping an eye on senior dogs to note any unusual behaviors that they may display. Most of these behaviors could be due to underlying medical conditions, while a change in surroundings can cause some of it.

So, let’s find out what may be the cause behind your Fido’s weird behavior. What signs are a red flag and when to seek from an animal hospital professional?


In senior dogs, separation anxiety is a common behavior issue. Separation anxiety makes a dog anxious when he senses his human leaving. The dog may turn destructive or start barking or howling as soon as the human leaves. The dog may behave over energetic upon the return of their owner.

Most senior dogs develop age-related ailments like vision or hearing loss which can cause anxiety in them. But older dogs can turn over anxious if they get separated from their human. The neurological changes in their body also make it hard for them to adjust to new surroundings.


With some older dogs, accidents are a common occurrence. No matter if you have trained your dog or not, house soiling can occur when a dog reaches old age. There could be multiple medical reasons for this particular behavior in your dog. Conditions like inflammatory bowel illness, colitis or diabetes can cause frequent urination or defecation in dogs while pain due to ailments like arthritis, vision loss or anal sac disease may cause difficulty for the dogs to go outside and relieve.

If you notice your dog with house soiling issue, take him to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. A detailed inspection can reveal the underlying cause of the problem and effectively treat it.


It is natural for a senior dog to turn aggressive and violent. Like house soiling, aggression has several medical reasons behind it.  Conditions like arthritis and oral disease that causes severe pain; hearing or visual impairment which causes anxiety or disability which makes it impossible for the animal to remove himself from the unpleasant situation can turn a happy dog into an angry one while stress due to any reason can cause the dog to panic and turn hostile towards others.

Having an aggressive dog can be harmful to the inmates of the house, especially if you have a toddler living with you. To eliminate aggressive behavior in senior dogs, it is essential to determine what may be causing it. If your dog is suffering from some medical condition, take him to the pet care immediately. Stress could be a factor behind your dog’s sudden aggression. If you notice that your dog is stressing out, try to offer him comfort and care. While medicines can help reducing aggression in dogs, muzzles and leash can prevent them from inflicting physical harm to others.