Senior Dog No Longer Barks

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

It’s inevitable that once you get a dog they will become your best friend, But with all that being said, there are understandably some downsides. Realising your dog’s ageing, is one of the hardest things to come to terms with, especially when it becomes more apparent. Your four- legged friend is suddenly falling down and there’s little you can do about it, their behaviors changing and you’re left wondering what it is you can do. When your dog begins to act strangely you will find yourself worrying, but it’s important you understand your dog a little better. 

If you’re a dog owner then I’m sure you know all too well the different reasons why a dog may bark, but there are also many reasons why they may not.

Why is it my old dog doesn’t bark anymore? 

If you have a senior dog that no longer barks, you may be asking yourself “why does my dog no longer bark?” Elderly dogs or dogs for that instance are just like us and that’s why we become so close to them. If your old dog is acting strange, then it’s important that you know as a dog ages, their behaviors can change, just like ours. When your dog stops barking it can either be from an underlying medical issue or it can be a simple sign of ageing. If you have a dog that you know can bark and has suddenly stopped, then you should go to your vet to rule out any medical issues. Senior dogs that no longer bark can stop because of various reasons. Your four-legged friend may simply be hoarse from constantly barking, especially if they’re older. Dogs can suffer from a condition called Laryngeal paralysis, this occurs if your dog’s larynx isn’t opening correctly. Your dog may also be suffering from a tumor, and this is why it’s so crucial you get your dog checked out by a vet. However, this is not to say your dog has a medical condition, it’s more a precaution. 

Is your dog newly adopted or rescued? 

Now if your dog is new, and hasn’t barked yet, this could be because they’re too shy. Let your little guy settle down. Sometimes all they need is to get used to their surroundings, and before you know it you’ll be asking yourself “how can I stop my dog barking.” With this being said, keep a close eye on your new friend and if you don’t see any changes within two weeks, take them to the vet to get checked over. 

What breed is your dog? 

When trying to determine the cause of why your senior dog no longer barks ask yourself a few questions. Has your dog always barked or was your dog always not much of a barker? Certain breeds of dogs are quieter than others, breeds such as Beagles and Basenjis hardly bark and make a humming sound instead. When considering why your dog isn’t barking, think about their personality too. If your dog has always been pretty laid-back and prefers to whimper, this could be the reason why your friend isn’t barking. Dogs all have different personalities, and if your dog whines rather than barks this could just mean they have a laid back personality and see no reason for barking. 

My old dog’s behavior is changing

When keeping this all in mind, it’s important to know that as your dog gets older they will begin to express some different changes in behavior. If your dog is experiencing some changes in behavior then remember your old friend is just like us. Don’t be surprised that once your dog begins to age, they may have some accidents. If your elderly dog is doing this more often than usual then you should contact a vet to examine your friend, just to rule out any underlying medical conditions. If your dog is having accidents regularly, then you can pick up some pads and diapers to help them. Once a vet has ruled everything out, you should put a few things in place to help your old dog feel better. As dogs get older, they get colder and cannot regulate their body temperature like they used to, buying your dog a comfortable bed and blanket can not only help them to feel less anxious but it can also help their overall health. You should also make sure your old dog is kept cool when it’s hot. If you find yourself asking yourself why your 11 year old dog is sleeping a lot then keep in mind that as your old friend gets older they will get tired and this is completely normal. However, if your dog is excessively sleeping, then it’s always important to get your dog examined by a vet. If your dog is struggling to walk and is falling down a lot, try removing any obstacles that are around the house to make it easier for them to get around. If you have slippery floors, then try putting down some slick surfaces that can help aid your dog when they’re walking. Again, you can contact your vet to get your dog examined, and they may also be able to prescribe medications for your dog. When your dog is going through the ageing process, you should expect many things to change. Which makes it even more important that you visit your vets at least twice a year for an overall check up. When your dog grows old, it’s also important to keep up to date with their health and nutrition. Elderly dogs become less active, which means they’re not burning as many calories as they once did. On top of this your dog can get digestive and kidney problems, keeping an eye and changing their diets is a great way to make sure your dog’s health is looked after. Don’t forget to also consult a veterinarian when changing your dog’s diet, in order for it to best suit your dog. 

What to do if your dog is not barking 

As I’ve said in this article, dogs are more like humans then we realise. When we are babies, we cry and scream to express our emotions, and just like us dogs bark and cry to communicate and express themselves. As a dog gets older, they can start to lose energy and feel no need in barking or expressing how they feel however, if your dog has always barked then this is where your problems will lie. Your dog may be feeling stressed or anxious. If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed then you may notice some other behavioural changes alongside the ones we’ve already discussed such as, Aggression, Drooling, Panting, Pacing,and restlessness. 

What to do if my dog is feeling anxious? 

Dogs are more like humans than any other animal, and this is why you should expect to see some changes as they age. Some behavioral changes can be due to anxiety or stress, as dogs begin to age their senses change, which can leave them feeling anxious. If your old dog is acting strange and you want to relieve their anxiety, try keeping to a set routine as they will appreciate this. When dogs get older, they prefer sticking to a set routine because they become more restless and tired. Dogs are more than just a friend, they become a part of the family. Only they cannot tell you what’s wrong if they need to, if your dogs are not barking and the cause is from anxiety. Then there are many different things you can do to help put them at ease. Try going on walks or play games with them as frequently as you can, as this can help to boost your old dog’s mood. The best way to support your dog whilst they are experiencing anxiety and as they get older is to talk with your veterinarian. You should talk to your vet and set up a plan on how to best treat your dog, you can also try to determine why your dog is feeling anxious or stressed. Determining why your dog is anxious, means you can set up a personalised plan for your dog. Putting a plan in place can help to take away your dogs anxiety or stress. There’s always something we can do to help our dogs grow old gracefully, changing a few things around your house and sticking to a set routine is crucial in keeping your old dog happy. In my eyes dogs are more than just a friend, they become a part of our families. If you feel something is wrong with your old dog or your senior dog no longer barks then please take them to a vet to rule any medical issues. If you’re a dog owner, I hope you’ve been able to learn a few things from this article. It’s always scary when something isn’t quite right with our dogs, but there are things we can do to make sure our dogs are happy.