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Living with an older dog

Just like people, older dogs have different needs to when they were younger. Trainer and Behaviourist Carolyn offers some advice.

Like us, as our dogs age their ability to do all the things they used to be able to take in their stride reduces but, with some careful management, a watchful eye and a lot of love and care, we can ensure we make their veteran years happy, healthy and fulfilling.

If your dog has always lived in a multi-dog household, he will still enjoy spending time with his canine family. Do however watch that games don’t get too rough – and also you may need to exercise your senior dog separately as they will try and keep up with the others even if tired or sore.

If your dog has always lived as an only dog however, this probably isn’t the time to introduce a new puppy. You are unlikely to have the time to give both the individual attention they need - and the puppy is likely to take your time away from your older dog at the time they need you the most.

As your dog gets older, their world may well shrink down a little. They’ll be having less exercise and be less active. Activities like agility or just long country walks will be reduced and they may well spend more time at home. This means that you become far more important to them and your companionship is needed much more. It’s this closeness that has developed through your years together that makes living with an older dog such a joy –never forget how much you mean to your dog.


About the Author

Carolyn is an accredited behaviourist and trainer with over 20 years experience working with dogs and other companion animals. She has written books, over 500 published articles and trains owners and professionals alike both nationally and internationally. Carolyn is also an experienced broadcaster and presenter, has appeared in five TV series’ and countless radio shows. Her passion is for helping owners build a strong and positive relationship with their dogs and fully develop the potential of the bond between them.

More articles from Carolyn Menteith

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