Seniors are Super |The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

Who are you daring to call a senior dog?

Who are you daring to call a senior dog?

BlogPaws has designated August as Senior Pets Month. As you may know, my sister Katie turned eleven in June which has her in the midst of life as a senior dog. Luckily for a large breed, the Kuvasz has a fairly long life expectancy of 12-14 years. This is my mom’s first time really having a senior dog. Her first dog passed away at the age of ten rather suddenly from pancreatic cancer. She did not show many signs of being a senior other than slowing down a bit, and then suddenly she was gone.

senior pets badge

Being a senior dog is not always a bad thing.

  • I have noticed that my sister is allowed to do lots of things that were not allowed before and frankly, I find this unfair! She gets even more spoiled and also gets more snacks…I’ve actually caught Mom sneaking her stuff when she thought I wasn’t looking! The nerve!
  • When you are a senior dog, you are pretty well behaved which means you might regain some off leash liberties that you lost as a younger dog.
  • We still walk the same routes, but often times we are taking more time along the way to smell the roses and wabbits. We tend to follow Katie’s lead when it comes to setting the pace.

Katies rolling

  • When Katie decides to act like an immature puppy, Mom actually reinforces that behavior – seriously, what happened to acting your age? Mom used to get mad at Katie when she would lie down and kick her feet in the air and refuse to move, now Mom finds it cute and funny. When I do it, I hear a stern, “Emma get up right now”. What’s up with that?

Sometimes being a senior dog can be a drag.

I wish I was just a young pup again, getting old can be tough!

I wish I was just a young pup again, getting old can be tough!

  • Arthritis is a problem which has gotten worse over time. Staying at a proper weight and keeping up on her fitness has helped her a lot, though. She also takes some medication to help out with the stiffness when she first gets up. Mom says she is like a car in a Minnesota winter…when it first hits the road the car rattles, sputters, and is hard to maneuver but after a block or two it runs fine…Katie is the same way when we go walking.
  • One of Katie’s favorite things in the world has always been playing chase, but now she is not able to keep up with the younger dogs which sometimes turns her into a mean old lady dog. Watch out for older dogs when they get frustrated because they may lash out, not knowing a better way to handle their situation.
  • When Katie gets sick, and she has always had a sensitive tummy, instead of feeling better in a day, it takes several days to get back to normal.
  • Katie sleeps a lot more and tends to not appreciate getting up really early like she used to.
  • Fears seem to get worse. Katie never liked fireworks, thunder, or gunshots, but as she ages she gets more and more bothered and frightened.

What to remember.

GBGV katie and emma

  • Love a senior dog as much as you can…they tend to be big snugglers.
  • Keep them at a healthy weight to cut down on health problems.
  • Make sure they stay fit. Keep up their exercise program for good overall health but make sure it is something they can handle.
  • Don’t exclude a senior dog from activities. Take them along but modify things so they can participate such as walking slower, or taking a few breaks.
  • Know your dog and if something doesn’t seem right, contact your vet.

Comments

  1. says

    Great advice Emma. I have to admit that I think Katie is adorable. I have had a few senior dogs now and one of the hardest things is watching them get up and get moving with arthritis. With Aspen and Daisy I had an older dog and a young dog. Balancing the two can be difficult, but taking it slow on walks can help a lot. More time to sniff!

    • Emmadog says

      Sometimes her slowness causes me to miss out on squirrels and wabbits which is frustrating but I know she isn’t doing it on purpose. It all changes slowly so we have adapted pretty well.

    • Emmadog says

      Seniors are pretty great, sometimes I do find the treatment a bit unfair but I will be a senior too one day and look forward to the extra liberties.

  2. Hawk aka BrownDog says

    Hi Y’all!
    Oh sweet Katie…I’m nearing Senior status. Right now I consider myself middle aged.
    Emma, be nice to your sister and patient with her…you’ll be there soon enough…According to my Humans we all get old too quickly.
    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Emmadog says

      Most of the time I am pretty nice, but sometimes I get frustrated and try to get her to race and play a bit more. My mom says we get old too fast too. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. says

    Loved this post, and sorry Emma, seniors are entitled to be spoiled. And to get away with things we never would let you younger pups do. And to make us laugh at things that used to frustrate us. Tell your mom this is my first experience with senior dogs too, our first dog passed at 6 unexpectedly. But now we have Toby turning ten and Leah turning fourteen, and I spoil them just like she is spoiling Katie, while Meadow gets to go to obedience school and have to learn things. (don’t worry though, she enjoys it.) :-)

    • Emmadog says

      It’s okay that Katie gets a bit spoiled, sometimes I get some of it too because Mom feels bad. Hopefully we will have many more years together as I really am attached to Katie and so is Mom.

  4. says

    Oh Emma, putting up with big sisters can be trying sometimes – I know – but I’m sure Katie has taught you many things over the years. This was a sweet tribute to her and I’m glad you have a good list of things to look out for to make her senior years easier. One thing that’s good, she won’t notice any gray hairs with that beautiful white fur!

    • Emmadog says

      I know Katie is the best big sister! Katie will never have old looking fur, and I am lucky to have a fairly white face myself…no need to have our fur colored since grey and white doesn’t show.

  5. says

    Being a senior really does have its advantages and disadvantages. Maya’s turning six this month, which isn’t really a senior but isn’t considered young either. I worry mostly about the disadvantage of arthritis. I think Labs are prone to this.

    • Emmadog says

      The biggest thing we learned is that different breeds respond better to different medications. Katie took Rimadyl for almost a year and it did nothing really, but we switched to Metacam and within a few days she was so much more limber and happy. Moral of that story is that if the vet prescribes something and it isn’t working see if they have other medications to try or talk to a breeder about what works best for the breed.

    • Emmadog says

      I’m pretty nice to senior dogs…I guess I will be turning seven so I have to start thinking about being a senior in a few years too.

  6. says

    Great post, Emma, I especially love the “things to remember” portion…it is all so important.
    Kobi doesn’t have arthritis or stiffness (maybe because he’s a smaller breed), so he’s the opposite when walking….he starts off strong and then slows way down! But I think we’ll be dealing with the same thing as Katie with Sheba when she gets older.
    Remember you will be a senior one day too, and then you will appreciate all that special treatment! :)
    You two are so cute together, I love that last photo!

    • Emmadog says

      Thank you! The best pet photographer in the world took that one of us. She also took the one on my book cover that I will be revealing on Thursday. I can’t imagine myself as a senior, but I guess it happens to all living creatures.

    • Emmadog says

      I have a few years to go myself, but I am learning how to be patient from my sister. She has taught me so much since the day I came to live with her and Mom.

    • Emmadog says

      Mom says I am the cutie and Katie is the beauty…that’s fine with me as I’m not into the being all fancy stuff :)

  7. says

    What a great post (and love that little video clip!) I’ve been blessed to love several senior dogs and found everything you say to be true. You left out only one thing I can think of – that extra special sweetness of a senior dog :-)

    • Emmadog says

      That is true, Katie is getting sweeter, but she also has that old lady thing, the nasty streak. If she is mad or not happy, look out! No matter, we love her and cherish her! At least she still lets the puppy out now and then.

  8. says

    Merci is 10 or 11 and we hope she will be around for more good years. She can still leap into Jan’s lap, even jumped on the bed this morning. Seniors are great!

  9. says

    That was such a great post! many thanks. Sometimes we will be Seniors too and it’s good to know all this interesting things about Seniors. Have a great Sunday, dear Emma &Katie.

  10. says

    Senior dogs are great, just make good companions! Our dog is a senior now and wouldn’t take anything for her. Will never betray my dog and be there to the end to care for her.

    • Emmadog says

      Mom and I would do anything for my sister. She is the biggest sweetie around! Sometimes it is sad to see her when she can’t keep up like she used to but we love her no matter what!

    • Emmadog says

      You don’t have to worry about that for a while…I am approaching, but it happens to all of us I guess. As long as we have a great home, there is nothing to worry about.

  11. says

    This is such a great post. Often times as pet parents we don’t even realize our pets have slowed down. I notice Sampson is a bit slower on his walks and seems to tire a bit easier, but he’s still got the enthusiasm to go and also to wrestle with Delilah. It’s important that you know your dog and pay attention to the aging signs. So glad Katie has you and mom to take care of her.

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