What can I do to help my dog who is acting senile?

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Having a dog who begins to show signs of senility can be very hard for a dog owner. A senile dog will start to display signs of aging that are clearly visible, such as graying hair and a slowed pace, but will also start to experience mental deterioration. The symptoms of senility are most succinctly described with the acronym DISH, which stands for:

Interaction changes
Sleep changes
House soiling.

If your dog is displaying DISH behaviors, she is most likely entering into senility. You can help your dog by being very patient with her and try to make the final months or years of life as peaceful and relaxing as possible. A senile dog will become disoriented and perhaps stop responding to her name. Similarly, the dog may stop recognizing daily routines, forget where things are located and wander aimlessly. Be sure that you keep a routine as close to normal as possible, and keep a close eye on your dog to make sure her is safe at all times.

Senile dogs tend to sleep more during the day, so providing a comfortable and quiet area for your dog to nap in will help. Make sure that your dog is also eating properly, as senile dogs tend to experience either drastic weight loss or weight gain, depending on their diet. Also, try to exercise your dog as much as her physical condition will allow. Exercise will keep joints and muscles healthy and prevent arthritis and pain.

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