Thursday, 7 August 2014

Senior Pet Month: 10 tips for caring for elderly dogs

August is Senior Pet Month, and although I am barely out of puppyhood, Hooman and I thought we should mark the occasion with a post, and write about how to keep your pets healthy into their twilight years.   Unfortunately, us doglets do not live as long as you Hoomans, and if you acquire a dog, cat or other furry friend, you have to be prepared for our inevitable decline.  But there are things you can do, to try and keep us healthy for as long as possible.  And of course, all these tips go for younger dogs too!

  • The most important thing is to feed your pet a good and healthy diet.  Weight problems as a younger dog are not so easily dealt with by the body in our older years, and can lead to joint and mobility problems,  If our activity decreases as we get older, so to should the amount of food we eat.  And of course, always watch the amount of extra treats you are slipping us! 
  • Protein in a diet is important to support muscle mass in your ageing pet - be aware of the ingredients and nutritional content of the food you are feeding us.
  • Keep our teeth clean!  Whether it be by brushing, chews or big meaty raw bones, help us to keep those pearly whites...well, pearly white!
  • Keep our mind active - don't stop training us.  Old dogs CAN learn new tricks, and helps us to keep our mind young.   It has also been proven that keeping an older dogs mind healthy can help to slow down degeneration of the brain, so however you want to do it - training, new exercise, new interactive toys - it's all good! 
  • Consider dietary supplements - things like chondroitin and glucosamine sulphate can help keep arthritic conditions at bay.
  • Do research on what conditions elderly dogs can get, particularly those that might be particular to that breed.  Learn the symptoms, so if anything unusual is spotted, you can act on it straight away.
  • Build a good relationship with your vet - maintain regular health checks and make sure you keep on top of all worming, flea and tick treatments.  A checkup every six months is ideal.
  • Keep us exercised, but adapt the level of exercise to our abilities.  We may not be able to do the ten mile hikes we did as a youngster, but we will still love our walkies!
  • Keep an eye out for signs that our sight or our hearing might be reducing.  There are plenty of things you can do to make your pets life easier if they are declining which we won't cover here, but the first thing is to recognise it and get it checked out by the vet.
And lastly...

  • We might be ageing, but inside we are still your puppies at heart.  We still want to be near you and your family, to love and be loved.  Keep us involved in your day to day life, and give us the same love and attention that you lavished on us as puppies. It is needed now more than ever, to make us feel safe and wanted.


  1. Those are some pawsome tips!!! I likes that senior doggies are just PUPPIES at heart!!!
    Yups, I NEVER intend to grow up...
    Ruby ♥

  2. What a great post, Lottie! We love our seniors ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  3. I guess I'm a senior - bein' eleven and all - but I'm a true kitten at heart.

    Nissy #Niss4Senate - tell the PM, today.

  4. We wish more humans would adopt senior pups
    Lily & Edward

  5. Great to remind us all that seniors need extra care and we sure know having had Ancient Pip for 16 plus years. Have a fabulous Friday Lottie.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. Wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing on our special anniversary pet parade today!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  7. Fab advice, Lottie! Thanks & enjoy your weekend! xo, Miss Destiny & Asia

  8. Great info. Thanks for sharing on the pet parade and joining our pawty today!

  9. Thanks for the info. It's all very good. However, I'm a bit dubious about msg (monosodium glutamate) as a supplement for dogs.

    1. Oh my goodness, what an eejit Hooman is - was meant to be glucosamine sulphate! Edited now - thanks for bringing it to my attention - she must have had Chinese food on her mind (she was fasting haha)

  10. I love Seniors! Thanks for this tips! I just adopted one senior and I find him very easy to train!