The Four Causes of Aging in Canines

  1. Neuroendocrine Failure (Nutrition): These are hormones that regulate bodily functions. Without them, bodies fall into rapid decline
  2. Free-Radical Oxidation (Environment): Oxygen as an element is both necessary for mammals and extremely toxic to all living tissue. Reactive free-radicals have been shown to damage cell DNA, contributing to health problems in animals. Antioxidant nutrients include Vitamin A, B, C, E, Beta carotene,  bioflavonoids, selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron.
  3. Inheritance (Genetics): Accelerated aging has been proven as part of our coded genetic inheritance. Providing cells with building blocks can more easily reverse the damaged caused by accelerated aging.
  4. Bodily Wear (Lifestyle): Overusing any machine will eventually cause the break down of its components. One day, Canine hip and joint replacements may become commonplace surgeries as we learn to extend our parts in new inorganic ways.
Old Dog
Courtesy of Kevin Huver Photography

The Effects of Canine Aging

Most canines lose show signs of decreasing Metabolism in their seventh year of life, resulting in lower activity levels and reducing caloric intake by as much as 40%. Cells begin dying off at a faster rate than they can regenerate, decreasing body temperature and providing an easier breeding environment for bacteria. The slow loss of muscle mass puts further strain on their cardiovascular system as an aging dog’s heart grows heavier and decreases inefficiency. This can lower oxygen levels in the blood causing anoxia and early senility.

Wear and tear on digestive systems is also a large cause of Canine aging as the teeth wear away and salivatory responses decrease. The production of digestion secretions slowly declines, preventing the absorption of proper nutrition and easy passage of fecal matter. Insulin and blood levels are lower, further hindering digestion and proper break down of nutrition. As your older dogs systems slowly deteriorate, they may lose their once acute sense of smell, sight, and hearing causing them to behave more irritably. Bones begin to lose density, hair their thick barrier against infection, and white blood cells their ability to fight off viruses. It is the collective degeneration of these systems that result in the eventual loss of life.

7 Anti-Aging Habits for Dogs

  1. Weekly Home Checkup: Coat, Skin, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Mouth, Feet, Limbs, Back, Weight, Respiration, and Temperature. Keep their water and food bowls clean daily and If necessary, keep a log.
  2. Behavior Training & Stimulus: Teaching obedience to your dog is good for his health, hygiene, and psychology. From housetraining to positive reinforcement, bonding with your dog will help with his overall happiness.
  3. Hygenic Practices: regular grooming and dental care reduce the stress placed on the immune system in warding off harmful bacteria. A weekly brushing, nail trimming, and ear inspection, as well as daily teeth cleaning, are all good practices to adopt.
  4. Diet & Nutrition: receiving essential nutrients is critical to replacing damaged and dying cells. Keeping your Canine hydrated with clean water will keep the health of his internal organs, flush out toxins, and contribute to longevity. Providing a dietary supplement such as NatrixOne to help boost your Canine’s immune system will greatly improve his chance of fighting off bacteria and diseases.
  5. Remove Environmental Risk: removing as many toxins as possible from food and living environment will help with longevity. Providing a dog house and safe yard conditions from other dogs or wild animals will reduce the risk of serious injury. Reduce stress in your canine’s world to create less fatigue and inflammatory responses.
  6. Exercise your Canine: promote strong bones, muscle, and cardiovascular growth which help create a more efficient bodily repair process. Fetching, walking, hiking, swimming, herding, pulling, or agility competitions are all great forms of canine recreation.
  7. Regular Veterinarian Screenings: Consulting routinely with a certified animal practitioner will contribute positively to your dog’s longevity. Seeing a vet once a year is recommended. A good vet will be your dog’s health detective and adept at providing a proper examination.  Keeping your dog on a regular worming and vaccination schedule will greatly reduce his risk of contracting a disease from another dog, bug, or wild animal.


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About the Author

Rich Coleman

Rich Coleman

Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!