November is National Senior Pet Month and since Bentley is considered a senior, I thought I’d let him share some important tips.
Bentley: “Thanks, Mom. I became what is a senior dog two years ago. It doesn’t seem possible that 7 years old should be considered senior but that is what ‘they’ say. On December 3rd, I will be 9 years old and while I still feel great, I need a little more attention than I did as a pup. Here are a few ideas to help an older dog.
Visit your veterinarian
Senior wellness checkups are important to make certain our eyesight and hearing are still in good shape. Your vet will also feel all over your body for any lumps, bumps or anything out of the ordinary. I have two senior wellness visits each year. Warning: this can tickle.
Daily activities are a must to keep our minds and bodies working. We want to play and take walks just the same as younger dogs. Sure, we may walk a bit slower but there is much to be said about taking some time to enjoy the scenery. I love playing with Pierre and we wrestle just as much as when I was 5 years old. Playing with Mom and Dad is one of my favorite things to do. It helps keep them young too.
Mom adds Dr. Harvey’s Golden Years to my dinner each evening. It is all natural and the difference in my energy level was obvious when she started adding it. Many dogs benefit from adding glucosamine to help with aging joints. Always check with your veterinarian before beginning any new supplement.
Food is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure your senior dog stays healthy. Make sure that you are feeding an age appropriate diet. Many kibbles have age categories for their food. You don’t want to feed puppy food to a senior dog. Our Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl is fed according to age and weight. It is the same food but a different amount for puppies under 18 months and for dogs over 7 years old. The main thing that I recommend is to become a label reader. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients or if meat is way down the list, avoid that food.
Love Your Senior Pet
If you are lucky, you will earn the love of an old dog. I know that the hair on my face is turning white. It is a little premature in my opinion but still looks very sexy. (Am I right, Emma?) Mom sometimes gets tears in her eyes when she thinks of me getting old. She really shouldn’t worry because I plan on being her best friend for many years to come. One thing that I am sure of is that she will love me until the end of time. Unfortunately, a lot of senior dogs find themselves being surrendered. Can you imagine being dumped at a shelter just because you are old, maybe have difficulty walking or can’t always make it outside to relieve yourself? Yeah, me either but it happens more than I’d like to think about. A dog would never abandon their human because they got too old. If anything, we’d love you even more. Please afford us the same care.
This last thing is really hard to talk about but it is something that can’t be avoided. The time might come when we need help to cross the Rainbow Bridge. It is not going to easy but please don’t make us face that time alone. We want your face to be the last thing that we see. You are our whole life and if you aren’t there, we will be scared when we need you the most. Remember, we never really leave you. We stay forever in your heart. Also, don’t say that you can never get another dog because it hurts too much to say goodbye. Think of all the fun, laughter and love that you’d miss without the pitter patter of four feet. Adopt a senior dog that needs a great home. I know that you have so much love in your heart that it would be unfair not to share it with another dog. By the way, all of these tips go for senior cats too. ♥