I have posted before about the importance of respite care when you are a senior dog parent. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to ask for help or to know exactly how to ask for help. So today I want to talk about 10 ways that you can help your partner (or your partner can help you) with your senior dog.
10 Ways That You Can Help Your Partner to Care for Your Senior Dog
1. Take responsibility for one of your senior dog’s daily meals so that your partner doesn’t feel like they’re doing it all by themselves.
2. If your senior dog wakes up earlier than you both do, try to take responsibility for the morning routine every other day so that your partner can get a little extra sleep.
3. Accompany your partner when you take your senior dog to the vet. Vet visits can be anxiety provoking not only for senior dogs but also for senior dog parents because as our dogs age, health conditions become more prevalent.
4. Spend quality time with your partner AND your senior dog together. As your senior dog ages, the time you spend with them making memories becomes more precious, make sure that you are a part of that.
5. Share the responsibility of cleaning up accidents if your senior dog becomes incontinent or partially incontinent. Whether you choose to alternate who cleans up or whether you split the clean up tasks between you, don’t leave it all to your partner.
6. TALK. The hard decisions related to end of life care for your dog are overwhelming, make sure that you take part in this discussion with your partner so that they don’t feel like they are alone in making your dog’s end of life care choices.
7. Offer to dog sit. If your senior dog needs supervision or help frequently, offer to give your partner some time off so that they can identify as more than just mom or dad.
8. Take photos. The older your dog gets, the more precious photographs will become so make sure to snap pictures of your partner with your senior dog and of you and your partner with your senior dog.
9. Recognize everything that your partner does for your senior dog. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to do so much without being recognized for your efforts, just a small thank you or even a card can mean so much.
10. Educate yourself. Don’t let your partner be the only one who understands your senior dog’s medical conditions, medication routine, or special needs.