The very first and inaugural Modern Pet Living guest blog post comes courtesy of Dawn Clark and her wonderful nine-year old Lab, Springer and Border Collie mix, Maddy. Dawn is such an amazing and loving dog parent, so we are very excited to feature her on our blog today! We believe Dawn's senior dog care tips and practices will be a extremely helpful for current and future senior dog parents.
Some say training a puppy is the most difficult stage of dog care, but for some other dog parents the challenges of senior dogs can be just as numerous. It's for this reason why Dawn believe's her job as a senior dog parent is her most important one.
So without further ado, here are Dawn Clark's 10 Senior Dog Care Tips!
1. Don't Discount a Senior Dog
Many times people won't consider caring for a senior because they are old. I'm here to tell you that a senior dog can be just as vital, active and energetic as a younger dog. So don't say, "No", simply because a dog is a senior. Every dog needs a loving parent!
2. Keep Your Senior Active
A few summers ago our family went camping and the best part was getting to go hiking with Maddy every day. Physical activity keeps your dog's weight down and it's just fun to do things together.
3. Buy Dog Toys That Make Your Senior Think
Maddy has a pet service that delivers toys and treats to the house and she loves it. It's a big deal when it shows up at the house and I have started hiding treats inside the toys because it makes her think. Like people, dogs need a basic amount of intellectual stimulation and work for all around well being, so it's for this reason that I like to create intellectually stimulating playtime with these types of dog toys.
4. Don't Overfeed Your Dog
A lot of dog parents equate food with love, leading to overweight dogs. Unfortunately because of the excess weight, senior dogs have issues with their bones and joints. So the best way to help combat medical issues, like arthritis, is to be mindful of portion control and keeping the treats to a minimum.
5. Ask Your Vet a Lot of Questions
I have a great relationship with Maddy's vet, but she knows I'm not just going to sit at the vet's office and simply visit. Frequently, I take a notebook and I write down pages of questions. Not only do I prevent forgetting questions, but I am able to conduct follow-up research on dog health topics.
6. Focus On Longevity
At vet visits there are many questions asked about specific issues like bone and joint problems, but frequently I remember the bigger picture as well. I always make it a point to research and ask about what I can do to keep Maddy happy and healthy day-to-day. Stay informed by continually asking your vet about pet medications, pet foods and even pet dietary supplements.
7. Inspect Your Dog's Body
An often overlooked tip for dog parents. There's nothing wrong with examining your dog for lumps, bumps and physical changes. If your dog has a lump or growth, always keep an eye out for changes or rapid growth. By checking consistently you'll be able to get your dog to the vet right away when they need vet care the most. Pain can be a sign of a internal muscle, joint or organ system issues so keep an eye on your dog's behavior and willingness to be active.
8. Spoil Your Dog... With Love
Maddy has very few favorite things but she loves being dried off with a warm towel when she's wet and curling up her bed with a blanket. It doesn't sound like much, but these little things are just things that make her feel special.
9. Truly Know Your Dog's Limits
This can nearly apply to anything related to dog care. For example, I have seven nephews with ages raging from 2 to 17 and Maddy adores them and loves to play with them. So much that when they visit I leave the bedroom door open so she has an area to rest in. Toddlers can often be a bit too much for a dog who is 3 or 4 times their age!
10. Enjoy Every Moment With Your Senior
Maddy is a family dog and one of the best parts of her being part of our family is focusing on those special moments. Never forget to include your pet at birthday parties, holidays, and special occasions. Always remember that the life of our pets goes by extra fast!
To connect with Dawn and Maddy please follow at the social links below
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ_-csGdv3bIZFfmEgga7nw