When Is a Dog Old?

The traditional age at which dogs are considered seniors is seven years. The way Labs age is as individual as their personalities. Some Labs still act like pups at ten years of age, while others start slowing down much earlier. Signs of aging include the following physical changes:

  • A graying muzzle

  • A thinner coat

  • Less energy

  • Poor dental health

  • Haziness of the eye lens

  • Cataracts

  • Decreased sense of smell

  • Stiff or painful joints

  • Less tolerance of temperature extremes

  • Other signs of aging include weight gain or weight loss, changes in appetite, more frequent urination caused by excessive thirst, and poor skin condition. If your Lab starts showing any of these signs, it's a good idea to schedule a geriatric exam for him. If you start screening your dog at age seven for diseases associated with aging, you and your veterinarian are more likely to catch problems while they can still be dealt with easily. There are many new diets, medications, and procedures that can help ease your Lab's transition to this new period of his life.

    One of the oldest dogs on record was a black Lab named Adjutant. He lived to be twenty-seven years and three months old.

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