Aging Dogs require special care
I brought Maxie home in June of 2001. She was a springy, lively pup and quickly captured our hearts and became a member of our family.
Her bright eyes and shiny coat, are now replaced by cloudy vision and gray fur at her muzzle. The spring in her step is replaced by a slower, more deliberate gait.
As a senior dog she requires new thoughts on exercise, diet and care and a more watchful eye from me to be alert to the unusual.
Exercising the body and the mind is still vital for her overall good health. She does not reach for the stuffed toys like she used to, but I keep a few of her favorite ones around – and from time to time, she’ll nab one and give it a good shake. I’ve invested in a couple of treat puzzles and I am intrigued at how much she enjoys them.
Her physical changes have meant a more watchful eye from me. Her skin is more sensitive so a gentle all natural bath wash is in order . Recently, she exhibited a habit of gorging on water and that led to accidents in the house. This behavior was quite unlike her – an extra visit to her vet for urine and blood tests along with a couple of follow up phone calls, resulted in some new medications that now have relieved that incessant thirst and the accidents.
Some of her puppy traits still shine through – she still loves to be outside and wiggles from nose to tail when the leash is brought out. She follows me around the house, watching my movements, until she is satisfied all is well and settles in her bed.
I reflect often on that puppy I brought home almost 15 years ago. It is a sad fact Maxie won’t live forever. For now, I enjoy the memories I have of her as a puppy and enjoy the dog, for as long as I can, that she has become.
How do you take special care of your aging dog?