Every dog wishes that communication with their human was a little easier, but there are some things your senior dog wants you to know.
Like special needs dogs, senior dogs have needs and desires that differ from your “average” dog. While they can’t tell you these things themselves, those of us who have spent a lot of time around senior pups know.
So today, I want to take a look at 11 of the things your senior dog wants you to know.
11 Things Your Senior Dog Wants You to Know
1. When I tell you I have to go to the bathroom, I have to go NOW. Not as soon as you have finished that e-mail, not an hour from now because I just went 30 minutes ago, NOW.
2. When you get home from work I want to get up to greet you but I’m sometimes too achy. Instead of calling me to you, tell me to stay where I am and come to me instead.
3. My back end is much weaker than it once was, this means that sometimes I’m going to fall over. Don’t get frustrated with me, I can’t help it and I’m doing my best to control my aging body.
4. If I look like I’m in pain, I probably am. If it’s a rainy day and I have arthritis, consider a warm compress on my joints and gentle massage as well as a dose of anti-inflammatories.
5. Don’t worry so much. I’m old, I’m going to have new lumps and bumps and changes in my body. Some of these things will be worth worrying about and some won’t, but until you know what it is, don’t worry so much – when you worry, I worry.
6. Just because I can’t play fetch anymore doesn’t mean that I want to lie in my bed and sleep all day. I get bored too! Take me for short walks, buy me interactive toys, or practice safe strengthening exercises with me to help me regain some of my stability.
7. Sit with me. I know you have to answer your e-mails or unwind after work, but while you do those things, sit beside me or let me sit beside you. You make me feel safe and I love you, let me be part of your unwinding routine.
8. Comfort me. If I show signs of anxiety or dementia (canine cognitive dysfunction), sit with me, comfort me, and let me know that it will be okay. It might not seem like it’s having any impact on my behavior, but it is.
9. I feel embarrassment and worry. When I have accidents in the house I am embarrassed and worried that you will be upset with me. Instead of shouting at me, please reassure me that it’s okay and accidents happen. I promise that I’m doing my best with this old body.
10. Please don’t leave me at a shelter because you can’t bear to watch me get old, I would never leave you because of your age. I know I’m not the same young puppy you used to take to the ballfield, but I love you. You are my person and I need you as I make this transition through my senior years.
11. Please don’t walk away when my last moments come. I need to know that you are there, that I have done my job in keeping you safe until my very last breath. That is my purpose, I am your dog.