Respect Your Elders
Nothing lasts forever; a sad but true fact of life! This however, does not mean that our senior canine companions should unceremoniously be put out to pasture – Nothing could be further from the truth! Senior or elderly dogs require our help, leadership and encouragement as much as they did back when they were little fluff balls tearing up your carpets and eating your favourite shoes, testing your resolve to the maximum.
Well, you didn’t give up then and nor should you now as your canine companion enters his golden years.Feeding, exercise, mental stimulation and leadership are all still very important to your dog. You may see your dogs appetite change slightly, sometimes demanding less food and other times behaving like a living food vortex. Whatever the case maybe, his metabolism and digestion system will become something to pay strong attention to as a responsible owner.
There are an abundance of feeds available on the market today that are specifically designed to assist the older dog with his daily dietary requirements.
Exercise is still vital to your dogs’ wellbeing no matter what his age – Fact! Yes of course the 10 mile hikes that he used to complete without breaking a sweat, may not hold the same level of excited anticipation for him anymore but he will still need to feel like a functioning member of the pack and as such will still require his daily exercise ritual – albeit slightly less strenuous. Remember, his walks and exercise routines are still the best occasion for you to practice your leadership status, so make sure your dog gets the exercise he deserves.
In many ways, dogs in their golden years require the same, if not more, attention from you as they did when they were puppies. So don’t get frustrated or even worse, angry, with your dog if he doesn’t quite hear or see you as once he did when delivering commands or instructions.
Be extra patient, understand your dog is no longer the Olympic gold medallist he once was and make commands clearer and exaggerated. This will keep your dog in top form, just a little slower that’s all. Visits to your vet are likely to become more frequent as he gets older, just as we as human beings start to ‘breakdown’ then so do our canine companions, so be prepared financially and perhaps more importantly emotionally.
If you have any concerns or questions relating to this topic then why not give us a call for a chat or even arrange a home visit to help you and your ‘Golden’ boy adjust to life’s new direction, until then,Good luck!