Many owners of so-called shelter dogs do not know exactly how old they are. One of the signs of old age that they can tell they are becoming owners of a senior dog is gray hair. When do they start appearing and isn't it a sign that something is wrong?
First, the dog's fur starts to turn gray around the muzzle. It is a natural phenomenon of aging, just like in humans. However, since dogs age faster, gray hair appears much earlier. It depends on the dog. Some people are also proud of their mane without gray hair until old age, while others, on the other hand, start reaching for hair dyes after the age of twenty. We know one thing for sure, unlike people, dogs don't really care if they turn gray. That is, only as long as it does not indicate a health problem . When should you alert?
A gray muzzle can sometimes be noticed even in very young dogs, even under one year old. It will hardly be a sign of aging for them. The study, published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, found that dogs who suffer from anxiety, stress, are impulsive, afraid of strangers, animals or sounds, suffer from premature greying. Again, this is the same case with humans.
Gray hair can also indicate a medical condition. They are, for example, a symptom of problems with the thyroid gland. So if you suspect that your dog's gray hair has come too soon, contact your vet.
WHEN DO DOGS GET OLD?
That being said, a gray muzzle is usually a sign that your dog has reached senior age.
This usually happens between seven and ten years, depending on the size of the dog. E.g. large breeds can be considered seniors as early as five years of age. Small and medium breeds reach old age only two years later. A dog's genetics or color also play a role in graying. Some have a predisposition to graying from birth. And logically, you will notice gray hair much earlier on a black fur than on a snow-white Maltese.
Grays not grays, your pet's love will be the same even if its appearance changes a bit.