Living with an older dog

The Dog Stop

Living with older dogs.

Dogs of all ages are special.  It’s fun watching and participating with them as they grow and mature from a frisky puppy to a teen to an older adult dog.  Older dogs need special tender loving care though.  Prevention is far easier than injury.  Here are some things to consider:

  1. Keep an eye on overall health.  Do full body checks regularly and ensure to make note of changes such as lumps that form on the body. Contact your Vet if you are concerned with any changes.
  2. Watch eating patterns (from ‘didn’t want to eat a meal’ to ‘always eats everything’). If it continues for more than 24-48hrs contact your Vet as it may be a sign of something wrong.
  3. DO take them for walks! Although they may be slower and less surefooted it is good for overall physical and mental health. The length and difficulty (Stairs for example) may have to be adjusted depending on your dogs physical body.
  4. Watch out for slippery surfaces.  Older dogs will have more challenges on slippery floors and icy walkways in the winter and hot pavement or decks in summer.  Many may have arthritis.  Consider getting booties if they start to panic on slippery surfaces.  Try the booties out on them a few times before they are needed so that the dog is use to wearing them.
  5. Eyesight and hearing can change very quickly if you notice it, make changes:  more lit walkways, careful of stairs so they don’t lose footing and injure themselves.
  6. Invest in a comfy supportive bed.  Older dogs especially love them as a place to rest weary bones and muscles.
  7. Diet may also need to be adjusted to smaller portions or a different type of food.  Do not overload them with treats although you may feel good.  Their joints that are likely worn and/or developing arthritis will be more painful with excess weight.
  8. Give your older dog a gentle massage as often as you can. They’ll love it and so will you.
  9. If you are bringing in a younger dog as they age please remember to introduce them slowly. Do not allow the younger dog to overwhelm the older dog with kisses or jumping on them.  Ensure that you also continue to give the older dog the same amount of  individual attention.
  10. Finally, keep up your regular visits to the Vet.  Preventing or catching an issue and getting treatment quickly reduces the chance of unnecessary pain and improves your dog’s quality of life.

If you have a personal story of living with an older dog we’d love to hear from you.  Drop us a line:


At The Dog Stop we are dedicated to ensuring that you and your pet have a long and healthy relationship.  We offer training for every age and stage for your dog.  Visit our Training page for details:  The Dog Stop Training.