|This is Cuddles our 16 year old Corgi Mix.|
Caring for Senior Dogs
Dogs are a lifetime commitment:
The Lovely Shane adopted Cuddles when she was a puppy. She is now about 16 years old.
Cuddles still gets around pretty well considering her advanced age. However, dogs have many of the same issues that are common with aging for people.
Cuddles seems to have some arthritis. Her major age-related health issue is that her sight is diminishing. She is almost blind.
Cuddles also gets confused from time to time. It is sort of like the senility that is common in people. There are times when she is a little irritable. I am sure that the limited sight is anxiety provoking for her.
Cuddles is still a member of our family. We do all that we can to make her comfortable. For most of her life, she slept on the bed next to The Lovely Shane all night. She has trouble jumping on the bed and is much more frail than she was in her younger days. For that reason, we have made her a dog bed on the floor just a few feet away from The Lovely Shane. Since the cold weather is rougher on older dogs, we have a small electric heater near her bed to keep her warm on the really cold nights.
Cuddles has always been very good about letting us know when she needs to go out to relieve herself. She is still housebroken but, lately she barks to alert us that she needs to go out and then does not go out. I don't think this is a health problem because she is eliminating but, we do have many false alarms. I think this is due to her mind aging.
I am writing this not to complain but to remind you that a dog is a lifetime commitment. They will all likely need a little extra and special care in old age. It is your responsibility to care for them and it is a responsibility for which you need to be prepared.
Senior dogs are a joy to have in your pack! Please don't let this discourage you from adopting a senior dog. Seniors can also be trained. You can absolutely teach a senior dog new tricks, so to speak.
If they are fortunate enough to not have many serious health problems they can get old enough to experience the mental issues that I mentioned in relation to Cuddles. They can get confused and irritable. They also get generally slower in old age. Remember however, this happens to people as well. It is just nature.
When you add a puppy or adult dog to your pack, you need to be prepared to care for them in their senior years. It breaks my heart to see senior dogs that end up in shelters or rescues because people no longer want to care for them.
If you need any assistance training your dog of any age please contact me at anytime.
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