Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Pets can experience age-related hearing loss just as older people do. These are classic signs of that. However, if your pet has signs of an ear infection including discharge, odor or pain, an exam by your vet should be done as soon as possible.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

According to Fanucchi, it is the closest thing to Alzheimer`s in humans. “They just don`t seem to learn well in any form anymore. They forget familiar features of their lives, including other pets and people. When it`s more advanced, they forget who their owners are.”
Getting lost in familiar places, staring blankly, walking into things, or repeatedly asking to go out. Altered relationships, becoming clingy, needy, irritable, or aggressive, or showing reduced greeting behaviour. Sleep more during the day, while being restless, barking, or whining repetitively during the night.
As a dog ages, it`s common to have some health concerns. Something like dental pain, arthritis, or vision and hearing loss can trigger aggression in a senior dog. If a dog is experiencing dementia or confusion, these can also trigger aggression.
How long can a dog live with dementia? On average, a dog can live for around two years after an official diagnosis. That said, it depends on the dog`s overall physical and mental health, how fast the disease progresses, and how early the signs of dementia were picked up.
“Dogs forget an event within two minutes,” reported National Geographic, citing a 2014 study performed on various animals from rats to bees. Other animals have long-term memories, such as dolphins, but dogs don`t seem to have a long-term memory that lasts much beyond those two minutes.
The last few days before your dog passes you may notice: extreme weight loss, a distant look in their eyes, a lack of interest in anything, restlessness or unusual stillness, a change in the way that your dog smells, and a changed temperament.
Dementia in dogs has three stages of symptoms—mild, moderate, and severe. There are typical patterns that appear within each stage. However, it`s important to note that not every dog follows these exact patterns or stages.
Signs of pain in dogs tend to be very subtle. It usually starts as reluctance to do what they have done easily in the past, like jumping up on furniture or in the car, that then progresses to inability to do these things at all. Walks become shorter, or their gait changes during the walks.
People with dementia can find caring for an animal to be a source of support and comfort. A person living with dementia can also benefit from the companionship and friendship from keeping a pet, and caring for the pet may also provide a sense of purpose.
At what age does dog dementia start? Dog dementia begins to affect dogs around the age of 9. But, dogs as young as 8 years old may also develop the condition. And the chances of your dog developing CCD goes up as they get older.
“Just like humans with Alzheimer`s disease, dogs with CCDS experience sleep disruptions, such as insomnia and sleep fragmentation,” said veterinarian Dr. Natasha Olby, a professor of neurology, neurosurgery and gerontology at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh.
Vestibular disease is the main reason why an older dog may experience a sudden loss of balance and an inability to stand or walk normally. How can you tell if a dog has a vestibular disease? A few of the signs include dizziness, stumbling or wobbly steps, and falling over.
Owners often wonder if dogs have a sense of time passing and if our dogs miss us when we are gone. Well, the answer to that is a definite yes. When dogs in one study were left home alone for varying periods of time, they responded with differing levels of enthusiasm on their owner`s return.
Dr. Patricia McConnell, PHD, Certified Animal Behaviorist and author of several books related to dog behavior, believes that dogs remember their previous owners, however they don`t remember in the same capacity as people do.
Just like senior citizens need more sleep, an older dog sleeps a lot when compared to their younger counterparts. On the higher end of the scale, a senior dog can sleep up to 18-20 hours a day, says Dr. Rossman. She estimates that the lower end is probably around 14-15 hours per day.
According to Dr. Brian Hare, a canine cognition specialist, our dogs do know we love them. Dogs and humans have the ability to form a special neural connection. This connection is the same human oxytocin bonding pathway used by parents and babies.
Dogs have several reasons for staring at their owners, like to communicate with and understand us. Some dogs stare to manipulate owners, as in with begging for food or asking to be let outside. Training and dog sports are good ways to turn focused staring behavior into a positive experience.
Q: Is your elderly pet aimlessly walking around or acting abnormal? Your pet may be affected by cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive dysfunction, or CD, is similar to Alzheimer`s disease in humans. This condition can be seen in both older dogs and cats, and it can affect any breed.
The signs are insidious and progressive. Early in the disease signs are subtle and may come and go, but as the disease progresses the signs become more apparent. The pet has `good days` and `bad days` but gradually worsens.
Sundowning Safety

Dogs and people with dementia often suffer from disturbances in their sleep-wake cycles. Those affected by “sundowning” sleep more during the day and remain awake, disoriented, and agitated throughout the night.

Small dogs are considered senior citizens of the canine community when they reach 11-12 years of age. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age. And, finally, their giant-breed counterparts are seniors at 7 years old.
Hamsters, dogs, and cats are great examples of pets that have provided love and care for people with dementia. Pug, Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel, Chihuahua and Boston Terrier are just a few of the best dog breeds for those living with dementia.
As far as we know, the changes in the brain that occur in Alzheimer`s disease and other forms of dementia do not cause pain. However, people with dementia are at increased risk of experiencing pain because they are at increased risk of other things that can cause pain, such as falls, accidents and injuries.
Try gentle touching, soothing music, reading, or walks. Reduce noise, clutter, or the number of people in the room. Try to distract the person with a favorite snack, object, or activity. Limit the amount of caffeine the person drinks and eats.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. We have an otherwise healthy 13 year old yorkie/Chi whom no longer reacts to the door bell and is hard to wake up. Should we be concerned?
ANSWER : A. Pets can experience age-related hearing loss just as older people do. These are classic signs of that. However, if your pet has signs of an ear infection including discharge, odor or pain, an exam by your vet should be done as soon as possible.

Q. I have a 13 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. How old is he in dog years?
ANSWER : A. It’s used to be that dog years were 7 years to every 1. Now it normally around 5 years to every year as long as your dog is healthy and kept up with vaccines. So he’s about 68ish in dog years.

Read Full Q/A … : Shih Tzu Age

Q. Does an indoor cat need to be vaccinated every year?
ANSWER : A. In practice, I recommend a feline combo vaccine every year, but will generally start administering every 3 years once they have had their kitten vaccines and 2 additional yearly vaccines. Rabies, is required yearly by law, and if kept up to date can be good for up to three years also. Based on the age of your cat I would give a yearly feline combo and rabies, and then boost the combo again next year.

Q. I have a 10 year old pug overweight with dry skin and a 5 year old Yorkie with dry skin…..please advise me the very best dry dog food that. Can give
ANSWER : A. I am very partial to the foods made by Royal Canin. They do a lot of research on nutrition, and their foods have very high quality ingredients. They make a food called Small Breed which would be ideal for both a pug and a Yorkie. You can typically purchase that food from a vet, however they also make high quality diets that you can buy in stores like PetSmart. I’d also recommend purchasing a fish oil product that’s formulated for dogs. Dose according to label directions. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil is excellent for building healthy skin.

Q. When my dog wakes, he bites the first thing or person he sees
ANSWER : A. If your dog is startled easily upon waking and is biting people or objects, it is possible that he may have a vision or hearing problem, which causes people to startle him more easily. Making lots of noise before you approach (such as vibrating the floor or turning on a light) may help him to wake easier without startling, and may make him less prone to biting. It is a good idea to schedule a veterinary appointment to check for any health issues that could be causing this response.

If he is healthy and doing this behavior, or is acting aggressively toward others outside of waking up, then speaking with a local trainer or behaviorist in your area is best. Aggression is a hard behavior to train, and requires an expert in person to tailor training to your dog’s specific needs. Neutering may also decrease aggressive or dominant-type behaviors, however it does take times for the hormones to reduce and does not always solve the behavior.

If you are in the united states, you can find an animal behaviorist in your area by clicking this link: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/applied-behavior-caab-directory.php

Q. My 13 year old Yorkie isn’t putting any weight on her right back leg. She might have been stepped on or landed on. She weighs 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.
ANSWER : A. Yorkies can also hurt their knee cap, it’s a condition called “patelar luxation” which is common in the breed. otherwise it might be a trauma just like you suspect, the best thing if it’s very painful would be to take her to the vet to get it checked and he will prescribe some pain killers if there is no fracture. if it’s just slightly painful, try to rest her for a few days and see if it helps (short walks, no running).

Q. I was wondering what would be the best dog for a nine-year-old 14-year-old and a nine-year-old that cannot walk
ANSWER : A. You should pick a gentle, no agressive, inteligent dog. some breeds are predisposed to this kind of character but you should always asses the single animal and its behaviour. You can choose from family breeds like labs, shephards, retrievers.

Read Full Q/A … : Caring for an Elderly Dog

Q. I have 2 male cats 1 is 10 year’s old and the other is 1 year old they both have been fix and have all there shorts the 1 year old wants to bit
ANSWER : A. Your question got cut off; please re-post or request a consult if you require advice on a specific query