All of us, even our Staffies, get old eventually. It is all too easy to notice the warning signs during our everyday routines. When it comes to your Staffy’s health, early detection of indications of ageing can save you time and money. It will also save your pet from unnecessary discomfort and sometimes even suffering.
Dog breeds age at different times. One method to tell when your dog has reached their golden years is to keep an eye out for symptoms that your dog is getting old. You might expect to notice some changes in your Staffy’s health and behaviour as they transition into their senior years.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?
Staffies are seen as relatively healthy dog breeds for pedigree dogs. Of course, several factors will determine a Staffy’s lifespan. From how they’ve been taken care of to having a severe accident or illness, reducing a dog’s average life expectancy.
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In addition, feed your Staffy a nutritional and balanced diet. Regular veterinary check-ups and providing the correct amount of exercise and mental stimulation help prolong a Staffy’s life. Under normal circumstances, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier has 12-14 years of life expectancy.
What Age Is a Staffy Classed as “Senior”?
You’ve probably heard the famous calculation that a dog lives seven years for every human year. This calculation has been popular for over seventy years; however, it’s not as accurate as dog owners would like to believe.
The idea of seven dog years to every one human year came about because people felt humans tend to live seventy years on average. Dogs live for ten years on average. I think you can probably already see the flaws in making the calculation this way.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that dog owners use this calculation to represent the real difference.
- Fifteen human years for the first year of a dog’s life
- The dog’s second year is equivalent to nine human years
- Beyond that, every human year represents five dog years.
So if we want to know when a Staffy reaches its senior years, and we assume sixty-five years is the human equivalent of a senior, we can make a quick calculation and come up with ten years. So that means your Staffy is a senior citizen once they reach ten years of age.
What Happens to Staffies When They Get Old?
Stiffness: After your dog has been sleeping, you might have noticed your Staffy’s stiffness when they get out of bed in the morning or after taking a nap. However, stiffness is not only an indication of old age. It can also be a symptom of arthritis. Arthritis is a debilitating joint ailment that affects 80% of dogs over the age of eight.
Dog owners often mistakenly believe that stiffness is an inevitable side effect of ageing. But the best course is to take your Staffy to the vet and get medication to alleviate the pain; you might also consider an orthopaedic bed.
Hearing Loss: A Staffy’s hearing loss is a significant indication of old age, though it’s hard to know if they are genuinely deaf or have selective hearing in old age. They still dash over to you when you offer treats! Deafness isn’t dangerous unless accompanied by ear pain, a head tilt, or skull swellings.
Sight Issues: Eye cloudiness (nuclear sclerosis) can develop gradually and go unnoticed. In older Staffies, it’s pretty common and doesn’t impact eyesight. But it can indicate cataracts or other eye problems, most of which vets can treat. Your Staffy may start stumbling or having problems finding a toy or other familiar objects; this probably indicates vision loss.
Bad Breath: While bad breath in dogs is prevalent at any age, it could suggest gum disease, tooth decay, or infection. The immune system of older Staffies decreases, making them less equipped to fight infections. Your vet may order blood tests to rule out infection and a tooth cleaning.
Potty Problems: A urinary tract illness or kidney disease could cause your Staffy to struggle with their housetraining or have issues peeing. Continence is common in older Staffies, but your vet can help by prescribing specific medication.
Weight Changes: You might notice significant changes in your Staffy’s weight as they age. Because metabolism slows when Staffies age, it’s easier for them to gain weight and lose muscle. Conversely, older Staffies may have reduced appetite and don’t digest their food efficiently, resulting in weight loss. Aside from arthritis, which makes dogs unwilling to exercise, several disorders of old age can induce weight loss.
Weight changes in older dogs are more common than in younger canines. If your Staffy is gaining weight, consult your vet about the right senior dog food. If you find your Staffy losing weight, take him to the vet to ensure nothing medically prevents average weight gain.
Mental Ageing: Canine dementia (or CCD) affects between 14-35 percent of dogs over the age of 8. It can worsen as Staffies age. Symptoms include forgetfulness, anxiety, behavioural abnormalities, and sleep disturbances. CCD, which has a similar effect as Alzheimer’s in humans, is a sure sign that your Staffy is getting older.
While there’s no cure for CCD, your vet can advise you on the best way forward; medications and therapeutic treatments are available. If you suspect this is the case with your Staffy, you should visit your vet for advice.