Dog years… How to care for an older pet

Dog years… How to care for an older pet

Posted by Nicole Thompson - Owner, Paws 2 Purrfection, LLC on 8th Oct 2016

Old girlDoggie years go by so very fast and we, and as pet owners must accept, when deciding to adopt a pet, this is a decision that will begin with incredible happiness and almost certainly end with virtually unbearable heartache.

In the early years you will be teaching them discipline. Encouraging them to potty outside and guiding them toward the things that you consider an acceptable chew toy vs. your favorite tennis shoes.

Your little bundle of furry energy will be bouncing and wiggling as you return home each day. So very excited for your return and happy to provide you with a slobbery kiss.

But as the years go by, you may notice a little bit of white fur showing up around their muzzle and your little friend will begin to slow a bit as they head outside for your evening jaunt. In the colder months, they may begin to get up a little slower and maybe even limp a bit from sore joints, until they get moving again.

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Now this certainly doesn't mean it's time to throw in the towel and call it quits! Just because we slow down, doesn't mean we're ready to give up. It just might take a little longer to get going after a long nap. Or perhaps a longer nap is in order after a vigorous game of fetch.

Older dogs can be just as wonderful, if not more so than a young pup. Some of the greatest benefits of having an older dog is they are well disciplined. No longer needing to learn all the things that had to be taught to them as pups. You can have a nice calm day, just lounging around with your best friend without them going absolutely crazy, wanting to jump, run & play. They'll be just as happy to snuggle with you on the couch, without a care in the world.

Some of the key things to remember when your dog begins to get up in years, is that they are still the same loving dog you've known and loved as a pup. They just might need a little extra love & tenderness to help make them more comfortable.

Regular veterinary visits are important, should you notice any real pain or crying when your dog moves about. Keeping them at the proper weight for their breed is extremely important, as any added weight can be very painful on older joints. It also adds stress on their cardiovascular system. Keeping you dog at an ideal weight can actually add many wonderful years for them!

You'll also want to keep them active! Moving about is great for the muscles and joints. Ever sit in one position for too long and have your legs cramp up? Well the same thing happens to your dog. Regular exercise, though maybe not quite as fast paced as in previous years, will work wonders for your friend! Bring them to their favorite dog park, or if they love to play at the beach, be sure to bring them along then next time so they can be young at heart once again. Being in their happy place, doing their favorite things, will make an older dog act just like the young pup they once were.

Just because your dog gets older, doesn't mean it's time to give up on them. They still have a ton of love to give and are just as happy to spend those days with someone they know and love. You're their pack leader and they most certainly wouldn't give up on you.

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