You now have the almost perfect dog and things are going well. Unfortunately dogs age much faster than we do but have similar age related problems. Make sure you get your dog vet checked on a regular basis and adjust activities to their age.
Increase mental stimulation with food dispensing toys, gentle training but don’t overdue physical exercise.
A great way to enjoy quality time with your dog is holidays. There are many destinations that are ideal for dogs. Beach holidays near dog friendly beaches, inland properties or even some of the city hotels will allow dogs. Check Travelling with Dogs. Here are some more tips ……..
One challenge we are seeing more often is older dogs developing cognitive disorders.
Talk to your vet about appropriate medication or supplements. It takes a lot of patience as senior dogs can become disorientated, loose their house training, bark, and wander at night. You might have to reconsider a confinement area. Make sure your dog is comfortable, you might have to leave the lights on at night and organise care when you are not home. Eileen Anderson has just written this wonderful e-book Remember Me?
You will also be confronted with the heart breaking decision on when to say goodbye. Some will say you just will know. I personally do not think so. I do think we tend to wait too long because we cannot face it ourselves. But it all comes down to quality of live. If your dog still enjoys short walks, their food, your company, a cuddle most of the time, they are probably still enjoying life. However, if the really bad days start to outnumber the good ones you might have to have a good hard look at your dog’s quality of life.
If you have decided it is time, think what is best for your dog. Are you going to go to the vet? Is the vet coming to your home? Are you cremating?
It is different for all of us and I have been there several times, with my own dog or in a shelter environment, nothing can really prepare you for the sadness but please do not leave your dog alone. It is easier for them to pass on in your arms than with unknown people.