Thursday, December 8, 2011

BEST Gifts for your Old Dog at Christmas!

Does your senior dog, an old friend who is a part of your family for years, have a special gift under the Christmas tree? Is there a holiday dog stocking by the fireplace filled to the brim with a chew toy and chicken-flavored dog treats for your lovable older pet? Well, by gosh, there should be!

Our family embraced the holidays as a time to spoil and pamper our pet. Tikki (and his cat siblings) had their own Christmas socks and special holiday gifts under the tree. Every year as Tikki aged, we bought our old dog a new dog bed as a holiday gift. The old one was usually worn down from extended use. He was properly spoiled the first year we purchased the plush orthopedic bolster bed. But as he aged, he really seemed more comfortable with the lower edge and smooth fabric of a large therapeutic dog mattress.

As he approached 15 years, Tikki didn't enjoy the rawhide chew bone as much as he had in previous years as they became too tough to chew. We opted for homemade dog cookies and less chewy dog treats to stuff his holiday stocking. But he still loved plush dog toys and chasing bright colored balls well into senior life.

The year of the dog ramp was especially memorable. Tikki was struggling with the back steps so we installed one at our back door. The dog ramp we purchased was designed with extra traction so there would be less trouble getting up and down the ramp in snowy or icy weather. We did consider a portable one too...Our old dog absolutely loved car rides and often joined the family as we toured the holiday lights throughout the neighborhood.

5 PERFECT Holiday Gifts for Senior Dogs:

  1. Therapeutic Dog Bed (Coziest Christmas gift for the older canine!)
  2. Dog Booties (Protect old dog paws from ice and salt.)
  3. Portable Dog Ramp (Bring your old dog all through the season.)
  4. Thundercoat for Dogs (Calming during stressful holiday parties and activities.)
  5. Holiday Dog Sweater (Festive way to include Fido in the family holiday picture.)

Copyright 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Removing Ticks Early is Essential for Old Dog Care

Were you and your old dog able to get in one last walk through the woods before the snow started to fly? Depending on where you live in the United States, wood tick and deer tick season can be over as the little critters can be snow covered by now or the season can be in full force. I have heard that after a certain time in the spring or fall, one does not have to worry about ticks as it is not “tick season”. Funny thing is, our senior dog would find ticks (or the ticks would find him) at all times of the year unless there was snow on the ground. In his later years, he had to be treated for Lyme’s Disease due to tick exposure.

We learned from our experience that tick prevention is best for senior dog care but proper tick removal may have reduced the risk of infection if it had been found early. So what is the best way to remove a tick whenever you find one on your old dog?
  • Use fine-tipped tweezers and protect bare hands with a tissue or gloves to avoid contact with tick fluids.
  • Get a firm hold on the tick close to the skin. Try not to twist or jerk the tick out, as this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin which can lead to an infection.
  •   Gently pull the tick straight up until all parts of the tick are removed.
After removing the tick, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Clean the tick bite site with an antiseptic such as iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol or other wound cleaner.

Copyright 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Water Safety for Older Dogs--Pool Dog Ramps, Boat Dog Ramps & Dog Life Preservers!

It is a fact that the owner of a senior dog must face, your dog's eyesight is not what it used to be. The dog that has chased kids and squirrels around the pool deck for years, could fall right in. And if you are not home, he might not be able to get himself out.

Then there is the dog that has for years spend the summer afternoon on the deck of the boat. If he fell into the lake, would you be able to rescue him before his older muscles and joints gave out? 120 pounds of wet, frightened dog would be hard to pull in out of the water. And senior dogs cannot dog paddle as well or as long as they could as pups.

I have discovered a few great safety devices that are extremely cool and a must have for anyone with a senior dog that likes to be on-board with the family or strolls around the pool deck.

Dog Life Preserver or Life Jackets are essential for the senior dog that still loves to swim and ride in the family boat!

A Skamper Ramp  attaches to the deck of the pool, walled pond, most docks and some boats. It provides a way for the swimming dog to pull himself out of the water and skamper to dry ground. And it works for dogs up to 200lbs so it is perfect for Yorkies or Labradors!

Another device has been created by PAWS ABOARD Doggy Boat Ladder . It is a portable, durable and light weight dog ladder that will attach to almost any boat ladder to easily get a stranded older dog out of the water.

Three amazing tools that give peace of mind to an old dog owner when his lovable senior dog is near water!

Copyright 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Waterproof, Durable and Replaceable Dog Bed Covers for Orthopedic Dog Bed--Perfect for the SENIOR Dog!

If there is one thing made our older dog comfortable during his senior years it was his dog bed. We had not invested in a dog bed when Tikki was a pup, but as he aged we saw the amount of time he spent lying down and the difficulty he was having getting up off the floor. Eventually our old dog had not one but two, well used and loved, dog beds in the house. But it took some work to find the right dog bed for our senior dog.

Local stores had few good senior dog bed options. We ended up purchasing several beds using the trial and error method.. Some were too fluffy for Tikki to lift his paws over them as his eyesight was poor. He often tripped when the profile of the bed was too high or slippery. Once the bed was used, it could not be returned so it was a frustrating expensive, process to find a good orthopedic dog bed.

Recently, I found a wonderful orthopedic dog bed online that would have been perfect for our home and senior dog. It has everything an aging dog needs for back and bone support. It is orthopedic foam dog bed with a removable and replaceable cover. There are also optional waterproof covers that can be purchased to further protect the mattress from accidents. Optional extra covers are an important feature because an older dog will make continual use of his bed. When we needed to wash the cover, Tikki would resort to using the uncovered bed which would cause the actual mattress pad to deteriorate much more quickly. Had the option of replacement and waterproofing covers been available to us, this would have made Tikki’s favorite bed last throughout his final years.
Features to a PERFECT Bed for the Older Dog

  1. Orthopedic Support
  2. Washable Cover
  3. Replaceable Cover
  4. Availability of Waterproof Lining Covers
  5. Cover fabric that is durable and not slippery

Using this short list will help guide you to find the perfect bed for your older dog.  Having a good place to rest is essential to making your dog’s senior years happy!

Need more help to find the perfect dog bed for your Senior Dog? 
CLICK HERE and check out the DOG BED page at

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's No Trick--Here's a Halloween Treat for YOUR Old Dog!

Senior dogs and Halloween often don't mix well. Most old dogs are far beyond being able to wear a matter how cute it is. Just like people, sometimes our older pets, just outgrow Halloween festivities. The commotion of a holiday full of chocolate that can be deadly to a canine and a constant parade of strangers ringing the doorbell and shouting "trick or treat", can become to much for the best behaved senior dog. Often senior dogs can wander off due to doors or gates being left open.

Years ago our own dog disappeared on the Fourth of July, another commotion filled holiday. Fortunately, we had a name tag and dog license on his collar. A friendly person saw him wandering almost a mile from our home and called us to pick him up. Keeping an up-to-date, easy to read ID tag on your senior dog is a perfect treat for this holiday!

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Massaging Your Old Dog's Paws (And Back, Legs & Belly Too!)

Who doesn’t love a good back rub? Well as good as a massage feels to a person’s tired and aching muscles, it can do wonders for your senior dog!

Benefits include:
  • Stimulates Central Nervous System and Blood Flow
  • Keeps Heart and Lungs Functioning Well
  • Calming Affect
  • Relives Boredom
  • Stimulates Skin and Follicles to Reduce Excess Fur
  • Aids Digestion
  • Keeps Fluids Flowing Between Joints Easing Arthritic Pain
Dog massage therapy is something you can have done professionally but most older dogs would prefer the gentle touch of their owner. Learning to do a good, stimulating rub down of your elderly canine is a great way to show your love after the years of unconditional adoration he has shown to you.

Copyright 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The ABC's of Senior Dog Care--Grooming

The G in old dog care definitely is for Grooming. As your dog enters his senior years, a trip to the groomer's can a bit troublesome. As arthritis makes it difficult to get down the stairs and up into the car for the road trip, many might put off this essential task. 

But grooming is essential. An older dogs skin is more sensitive and tends to be dry. Dogs toenails continue to grow and must be kept trimmed. Neglecting nail care can lead to a dog's nails catching on the carpeting or other obstacles causing injury. Long haired dogs will need the hair inside the ear canal trimmed to avoid ear mites and infections. So getting to the groomer or grooming at home is essential.

Tips for Keeping Older Dog's Groomed

1. Invest in a portable dog ramp or stairs so a trip to the groomer is easy on both you and your senior dog.

2. Find a groomer that specializes in older dog grooming. Some even offer groom-at-your-home service.

3. Learn how to groom your pet at home. By bathing, trimming and clipping at home, it can keep your pet calm and looking spiffy into his golden years.

Copyright 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Bolster Dog Bed for the Diggingest Old Dog!

When my boys were younger, they loved Dr. Suess’ beginning reader books. One of their favorites was The Diggingest Dog by Al Perkins. In the story, a boy, Sammy Brown enters the pet store and rescues a dog from life on “the bare, hard floor of stone”.

Our own dog was a pup then and though he liked to dig, Tikki rarely slept on bare floor. He had his usual spots on a rug or the carpet. Sometimes at night, he would even sneak up on the couch. The one time we kenneled Tikki for a trip, they did keep him in a cement-floor jail cell. We never kenneled him again.

As Tikki got older, we remembered the book and knew he would need a bed. But which dog bed is best for a senior dog?

Our first attempt was around the time Tikki was 9 years old and we purchased a bolster bed. This one was just the ticket at the time. Tikki loved the pillowed edge around the side that supported his back. In order to get into the dog bed, he had to be able to maneuver over the edge. But at 9 years young, Tikki was still spry and full of energy; arthritis had yet to kick in so it was a perfectly cozy choice for our diggingest dog!

For a list of some of the BEST Dog Beds for Older Dogs CLICK HERE

 Copyright 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks is a Requirement when Downsizing to a Condo!

A Realtor friend of mine was telling me awhile back about clients downsizing from their family home with a big yard to a townhome. There were many expected changes and challenges in downsizing but one unexpected dilemma involved Tuffy, their little gray wire-haired, terrier-type dog who had the run of their home.

Every townhome they went to had to allow dogs in the association by-laws. Since Tuffy was not a large sized canine, breed restrictions were not going to be an issue. But much loved, dogs can be pretty spoiled. Tuffy would dart out the door with a welcoming bark every time my friend came to the door. He was a good dog, as he didn’t leave his half acre yard, but now Tuffy wasn’t going to be able to leave the patio. Running up and barking at neighbors is a big no-no in a condo association.

In fact, many associations have several rules about dogs and this place had a list of rules that Tuffy must obey in order to be a good townhome canine. His owners had to submit a mug shot of his cute black and gray face, so the association could tell which pets belong in the area and which did not. He was going to have to be on a leash or tie-out at all times. And he would have to have copies of his license and documentation that his shots were up to date on file.

Now that leash thing was going to be a problem. Tuffy, like his owners, fell into the senior citizen category. It was time to teach an old dog some new tricks…or remind him who was boss of the family (and it was no longer Tuffy) so that he could make a good impression on all his new neighbors. Fortunately, Tuffy had been trained previously and though his manners were a bit rusty, Ang and Donna started working with him several weeks before the move. Tuffy had to start wearing his training collar at all times but they didn’t use it often. A reward system of treats helped the little dog remember all his new rules.

My friend assured me that Tuffy is a happy senior dog in his new home. It was a bit of a transition but made much easier since Tuffy’s owners chose to start preparing their spoiled little dog early for the new rules. This made the move as stress-free as possible for both dog and owners. Finding and unpacking all of Tuffy’s little dog toys should be the only worry now!

OldDogPaws offers 7 helpful tips to ease your senior dog’s stress and help him make a smooth, stress-free transition to the condo-lifestyle

1. Start Training Early
Don’t think of this as a way to punish Fido. A training collar is all about
keeping your older pet safe in his new environment. Pull out that training collar and let him know that you mean business. He has to relearn to walk on a leash and not bark at everything and everyone.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice
At least a month before the move, start your daily walk with the leash being attached before exiting the house. Make sure Fido knows that darting out the door will no longer be tolerated.

3. Tied out Trials
Every time you sit on the deck or patio, first hook up Fido to his tie-out so he can get used to being tied-up. Many people don’t use these in fenced yards but most condo associations will have this restriction.

4. Reward Good Behavior
As Fido learns the rules, the training collar can come off and the treats or reward system can begin.
5. Keep License Up-to-Date
Most associations will require all pets to have to have all shots and local licensing up to date and of file.

6. Snap a Good Photo
Not quite a mug shot, but many associations will want a photo of all pets on file so they know which pet belongs to which association member.

7. Find Area Dog Parks
Research your new neighborhood to see if there is a leash-free dog park in the area where Fido can have a quick and safe run once in awhile to burn off all that pent up stress from being good in his new surroundings.

By taking the time to prepare your senior dog for the change to condo-living, it won't be long before your pet will enjoy his new home and surroundings as much as you will.

Copyright 2011 OldDogPaws

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Senior Dog Speechless Sunday--Watching and Waiting

Old dogs tend to be a bit more patient than when they were pups. They can relax and just watch and wait for whatever comes along. That is one of the reasons having a senior dog in your life is so special.

Copyright 2011 Old Dog Paws

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Year-round Heartworm Preventative--Is it Necessary for an Older Dog?

When our dog, Tikki, was just a pup, we would bring him to the vet every spring for his physical and annual heartworm test. We live in a northern mid-western state where it doesn't really warm up until late April and are relatively mosquito free until this time. Starting in May, we would give him his once a month "treat" and had the little red heart sticker stuck on the family calendar as a monthly minder of his next dose.

This was the process  for the first seven or eight years of Tikki's life. But one spring the vet prescribed 12 doses instead of the usual 6-8. When questioned, he said that it was more prudent to keep protected year round then the annual spring blood test would be less necessary. In talking further with the doctor, I explained that Tikki was mostly an indoor dog and we were religious about giving him his medication monthly during the summer when mosquitoes were most active in our state. I preferred giving my senior dog time off from medications during the winter months when exposure was almost nil. So we opted to buy the six month supply and retest for heartworm in the spring. In talking with Tikki's vet, I found out  it is critical to retest every year for heartworm if your dog is not on a year round preventative. Giving the medication to a dog that tests positive for heartworms can have serious adverse affects.

Whether heartworm medication is necessary year-round  is a great debate as heartworm medication can be hard on senior dogs. It is an essential discussion to have with your vet because if your dog gets infected, heartworms can cause death. Be proactive and informed about heartworm risks in your area. Discuss your older dog's health and any possible side affects of medications with your vet to determine what is the best plan of action to keep your senior dog happy and healthy.

For Additional Info on Heartworm Protection CLICK HERE


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Senior Dog Speechless Sunday--Can I Come In?

Hot summer days full of sunshine make any old dog want the comfort of an air conditioned house. Sometimes if a door is closed, you have to try the window!

Copyright 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Tips for Old Dog Owners!

Hurricane Irene has been in the news non-stop lately. Those on the east coast hopefully picked up extra dog food when they went out for water and people supplies if they have an old dog at home. Earlier this year, I posted about the Thundershirt for Dogs as a way to keep an old dog calm in a storm. It would be a good idea to have that calming tool handy this week as hurricanes are known to be noisy with 100+ mph winds and tornadoes.

Yes, it is the east coast this time where the hurricane force winds will be blowing but even in areas where hurricanes are not common, it is important to remember to be prepared for an emergency with an older dog in the house. Many families have a survival kit for emergencies but did you remember to include necessities for your dog too?

Ideas for a Old Dog Survival Kit

  1. Fresh water. It's not just essential for humans, make sure you have enough for your canine friend.
  2. Thundershirt or other calming device. It could be a long, frightening experience for your four-legged friend.
  3. Extra Food. Don't forget to have a supply of your dogs regular food and treats on hand.
  4. Lantern or other axillary light source. Older dogs have trouble seeing and in dim or no light it could be impossible.
  5. Prescribed medicines. Again, enough for the duration of the emergency.
  6. Puppy pads. Yes...your old dog may revert to going indoors during severe weather and accidents could occur.
  7. Leash. Keep an extra leash in your survival kit. In an emergency, you might not be able to get to the one kept by the door.
  8. Collapsible Dog Ramp. If stairs are damaged or dangerous, it may make the task of  relocating your senior dog less traumatic. 
  9. Dog First Aid Kit. This is essential as an older dog is more apt to get injured during the confusion of a storm or other emergency. 
Okay, it may be a little late to be ready for Hurricane Irene. But as this was the first named hurricane of 2011, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria or Nate could be next. And across the country other emergencies from floods to blizzards could put your family and senior dog in jeopardy. Will you be ready?

Copyright 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Aid Kit for Dogs

Do you have a first aid kit? Most people have one for their family's cuts and scrapes but what about for your dog. Whether at home or on the go, it's important to have a few items that might prevent a costly trip to the doggy emergency room. Emergency vet visits can be expensive. While a first aid kit cannot replace the care of a qualified veterinarian, a good canine first aid kit could be a lifesaver for your older dog!

20 Essentials of a CANINE First Aid Kit (And common uses for the items.)

1. Rubbing Alcohol (Tick and thorn removal.)
2. Antiseptic Lotion (Clean out cuts or scratches.)
3. Antibacterial Ointment (Prevent infection.)
4. Bandages or Rolled Gauze (Temporarily binding of wounds.)
5. Cotton Swabs(Remove debris from cuts, antiseptic application & ear cleaning.)
6. Elizabethan Collar (Prevent dog from chewing bandages and licking wounds)
7. Non-sticking Adhesive Plaster (Apply to wound to keep dressing in place.)
8. Eye Wash (Wash debris from eyes.)
9. Rectal Thermometer and Petroleum Jelly (Take Temperature*.)
10. Muzzle (Prevent biting when treating the dog.)
11. Kaolin Pectate/Milk of Magnesia (Treat diarrhea.)
12. Top Quality Nail Clippers (Trim nails.)
13. Tweezers with rounded ends (Remove thorns or debris from wounds.)
14. Thermal or Regular Blanket (Maintain body temperature.)
15. Styptic pencil, cotton wool and gauze(Stop blood flow.)
16. Scissors(Trim hair near wounds.)
17. Flashlight (See in ears, throat etc.)
18. Eyedropper (Administer medications.)
19. Strong Packing Tape and pieces of wood or stiff cardboard (For Splints)
20. Towels--Paper and Regular (Stopping blood, drying etc.)
21. Veterinarian’s Phone Number/Emergency Number

Copyright 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Expectancy—Is Your Dog a Senior?

One day you just notice that your best friend for life, your loveable canine friend that is, is no longer as quick to chase the ducks into the pond as you wander through the park. A few weeks later he yelps a bit when you brush his coat only to realize he has a fatty lump near on his backside. And then there is that characteristic gray around the muzzle that started to show up around the 7th or 8th anniversary of the day you welcomed your beloved dog into your home. So has Fido earned senior citizen status?
Probably, yes.

Unlike people, a dog is not going to become a senior citizen when he hits 65 years old…even in dog years. There is not a one-size-fits-all breeds rule on when a dog becomes a senior; mostly because different breeds have differing life expectancies. While a pure bred bulldog has an average life span of 9 years, Chihuahuas often live for 15. Many say that a dog starts its golden years around age 7 but like people, dogs are only as old as they feel. If your dog is feeling and acting quite spry, it may be a very healthy adult dog approaching old age. But as a dog nears the end of his breeds life span, his senior status will become more probable.  Check Out Dog Life Expectancy for other breeds HERE.

8 Quick Tips for Determining Senior Dog Status

  1. Tires Quickly—Can’t run or play fetch as long as before
  2. Graying Muzzle—An obvious sign of age
  3. Not as Fast—Gets up and down slowly.
  4. Rear End Lumps—Fatty, spongy lipomas are common.
  5. Hearing Problems—Not coming when called.
  6. Sight Problems—Gets disoriented in own yard or home.
  7. Behavior Changes—More fearful of noise or storms.
  8. Accidents Indoors—Bladder problems can be age related

Just like humans, older dogs just start to slow down and need extra care. Any or all of these symptoms are signs of old age in a dog but also could signify a serious health issue. It is important as a dog ages to keep up with regular vet visits to monitor any significant change and rule out serious illness. 

Copyright 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Old Dog Accidents--Cleaning Up Completely is Essential

Imagine this--You open the door after a long day to be greeted by a sullen canine and a strong odor. Your well-trained, good old dog just had  an accident. The sadness in his eyes breaks your heart because he has always been so good in the past but the smell is overpowering too. The emphasis here is on OLD since senior dogs can have more bladder issues and other accidents as they age. The reality is, they just cannot help it. 

So how do you live "happily-ever-after" with an accident-prone Senior Dog? Several important steps are found at the Humane Society website but here they are in a nutshell:
  1. Take your dog to the vet to make sure this is not  a more serious health issue.
  2. Clean thoroughly. If a dog can smell his odor in the area where the accident happened, he is very likely to do it again. MORE CLEANING TIPS HERE
  3. Retrain your pet to not go in the house.
  4. Adjust your schedule to accommodate your senior dog's changing needs.
As our pets age we may have to alter our lifestyles around their schedules a bit to make sure they are let out on a more frequent basis due to aging systems. It takes a bit more work but your lifelong friend deserves to be treated well throughout his entire lifespan. Adapting is key to enjoying life with your senior pet.

Copyright 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

The ABC's of Senior Dog Care--Fur

Okay...F has to stand for Fur when talking about older dog care. Our furry pals have more skin and fur issues as they age and taking care of their coats, keeps the hair and fur from shedding all over. 

Brushing and grooming can get difficult as a dog ages but it is very important not to stop grooming your older dog. Brushing a dog is very therapeutic if done with a gentle touch. It helps distribute oils and pull out dead matted clumps of fur. Plus it is a great way to assess if there is an embedded tick or other lesion on your pet. 

If your senior dog has trouble jumping into a bathtub, try using a kiddie pool and the hose. That is what we used for Tikki as he became harder to groom. In colder weather, we did bring him into the groomer with the aid of a dog ramp to get him into the car. It may be tempting as a dog ages to avoid taking care of his fur because of the difficulties but in the long run it is healthier for your pet to actively take care of his fur!

More Skin Care Tips for Older Dogs can be found by  CLICKING HERE to go to the OldDogPaws Skin Care page.

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting Fleas Out of Your Senior Dog's Fur and Home!

Scratching and itching dogs make me crazy! We had a dog bring fleas in the house and it took weeks before they were all gone. It is amazing how long it took to kill them off! Of course a flea dip took care of our dog but the ones that got in the house seemed to hang around forever. Since a senior dog could have very sensitive skin, fleas can be a big problem.

On our OldDogPaws flea page it explains why it can be so troublesome to have a flea infestation in your home:

Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.
After hatching, flea eggs develop into tiny, worm-like larvae. Larvae remain hidden deep in carpet fibers, beneath furniture cushions and in other protected areas. The larvae feed mainly on adult flea feces (dried blood) which accumulates, along with the eggs, in pet resting and activity areas.
Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated.
Re-treatment of the home is often necessary or those biting parasites will hang around your home forever. Prevention is the best key to a flea free home.

Copyright 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Elevated Dog Bowl Selection Tips!

Arthritis can be a real pain in the neck! And for a dog attempting to eat and swallow food the forward bending motion can cause serious pain. This is just one of the reasons many senior dog owners opt for an elevated bowl for their aging pet. Ergonomics can really make a difference to the comfort level of the daily activity of eating. But how do you select the right elevated dog feeder for your canine?

6  Essential TIPS For Selecting an Elevated Dog Bowl

  1. Dog Height - Bowl should be no higher than 6 inches below the dog’s front shoulders. (4 inches for very small dogs.)
  2. Material of Feeding Bowl - Lightweight, rust and rot resistant. If you feed hot food to your dog, stay away from heat conducting metal.
  3. Construction of the Stand - The stand for an elevated feeder needs to be sturdy enough for daily use.
  4. Capacity - This can range from 2 to 16 cups in volume. Consider how much your dog eats at mealtime and figure accordingly.
  5. Design/Number of Bowls - Do you need a 2 or 3 bowl feeder? Do you have more than one dog that you will feed at one time? Consider your pets’ needs when making your selection.
  6. Cost - Elevated dog feeders vary substantially in price from $30 to over $100 depending on quality and design.
Copyright 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

OldDogPaws Funnies--Sunday Dog Joke of the Week

A dog walks into a diner and jumps up on a stool at the counter. The waitress comes up and asks, "What can I get you?"

"Do you have any dog food?" asked the dog.

"No, we don't serve dog food here," answered the waitress.

He tried again. "Do you have any dog food?"

"NO!" answered the waitress.

"Do you have any dog food?" asked the dog for the third time.

"No we don't have dog food here. Now if you ask again, I'm going to nail you to the wall," the very angry waitress retorted.

The dog thought for a moment and politely asked, "Well do you have any nails?"

The waitress was now confused, "No, we don't have nails here."

 "Good!" answered the dog. "Now, do you have any dog food?"

Copyright 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The ABC's of Senior Dog Care--Ears

There are so many things to consider when caring for your dog as he ages. Literally from A to Z there are conditions, products and ideas that will make the most of your dog's senior years. 

The "E" word for today is EARS!

If you have ever visited Disneyworld or Disneyland, you know that all trainees wear badges that say "Earning their Ears". Well, your older canine has earned his ears in your family over his long life, but they might not be working as well as they used to. There are many indications of a potential ear problem from balance issues to smelly discharge. These can be caused by infection or a disease.

CLICK HERE for a full list of signs of ear problems in senior dogs.

Products and supplies to keep your dog's ears healthy:

Ear Clensing Pads - Keeping your pet's ears clean and dry is your best defense against ear infections. It's recommended you clean your pet's external ear canal 1-2 times per week. Ear Clens® Pads are convenient pads that work gently; yet contain powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal ingredients that help change the pH in your pet's ear, making it much less likely to harbor the growth of yeast and bacteria. Simply toss these mess-free pads in the garbage when cleanings are done. 

Ear Cleaning Solution - For areas of the ear you cannot reach with a pad, squirt a few drops of Ear Clens® Solution in the ear. This solution contains the same active ingredients as Ear Clens® Pads. You may also consider Pet-Otic, with salicylic acid and malic acid, which break down and remove wax and other debris. 

Ear Drying Agents - Relieve your pet's irritating ear itch and help prevent bacteria and fungal growth by keeping ear canals dry. Dry ears stay clean and healthy and odor-free. After weekly cleaning with liquid ear solution, simply hold the Ear Powder applicator tip about an inch from your pet's ears and squeeze directly into the ear. Powder makes gripping with a hair puller much easier when you need to "strip" ear canal hairs on certain dog breeds. 

Ear Mitacide - Ear mites can be a misery for your pet. An effective pyrethrin Ear Miticide can eliminate these irritating, common parasites that your pet can pick up. If itchy ears are accompanied by a black, crumbly discharge, there's a good chance your pet has ear mites. And the constant scratching means that he'll be more prone to ear infections. 

Ear Care Kit - A convenient way to keep everything you need to care for your pet's ears on hand is the Ear Care Kit. The three products included in this kit will protect your pet's ears from inflammation by cleansing, killing mites (if your pet has them), and drying out moist ear canals.

Otoscope - A high intensity Veterinary Quality Otoscope lets you examine your pet's ears up close so you can detect ear conditions before they become problems. Lighted scope magnifies up to 10 times in high resolution and includes three cones for different sized ear canals.
Copyright 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog Pool Safety Reminders During the Summer Heatwave!

The heat of the summer is continuing across the country. Can you imagine having to wear a fur coat out in this continued heat and humidity? No doubt your older dog will continue to suffer silently until the weather shifts.

Heat does present a danger to humans young and old, but also to our very young and old pets. One thing that is very important to keep our dogs happy and healthy in this warm weather is keeping fresh water available. Now if you have a swimming pool, that would appear refreshing to any dog, but is it a healthy way for your dog to stay cool? Well now, that depends.

Taking a drink or two from a just filled kiddie-pool isn’t a big deal for most dogs. The problem comes in when the water is “shocked” with chlorine to keep the bacteria levels down. Or, when the untreated water has been swam in by young children and then left to heat up in the sun. In the first case, the chemicals can be very harmful to your dog because they are not meant for consumption on a regular basis. In the second case, the lack of chemicals will cause the bacteria from any leaking diaper to grow quickly and cause serious illness.

How about if Fido wants to go for a swim? Is that a problem? It is if your dog cannot swim! If the water is too deep for his legs to touch and he cannot readily climb out of the pool, it can be deadly. If you are not sure, get your pet a life jacket when you are going to be pool side. It is also a good idea to brush up on your mouth to snout resuscitation skills.

Best defense in this summer heat, treat your dog like you would any very young or very old family member around a pool. Keep a watchful eye for safety’s sake. And keep clean fresh water available at all times so your senior dog is not tempted to drink from the pool!

Copyright 2011


Friday, July 29, 2011

Not an Old Dog Story--But a Good Dog Story

If you haven't heard the story of Dozer who escaped the his yard's invisible fence system and joined a crowd of runners as they passed his yard, you have to watch these videos. Dozer is a 3-year-old labradoodle that is quite a celebrity. He was noticed throughout Maryland Half Marathon, which benefits the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center and was videotaped at the finish line. Then he wandered home...limping but okay. His owners heard about a dog in the race and contacted the race officials. Dozer was awarded a medal for completing the race the next day...and as his story got out donations started coming in. Dozer is not just a great dog...he is a great fundraiser for cancer research. Good Dog Dozer!

Young or old, dogs bring so much joy to our lives...this is a great "Good Dog" story!

Copyright 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moving Day Stress Can Overwhelm Older Dogs

Moving day is very stressful for the entire family even under ideal circumstances. No matter how we plan for that move, things come up. Wallets get lost; moving trucks breakdown; volunteer helpers don't arrive (or worse yet, don't help much). Yes, moving day is stressful but families with pets have special issues. And when the dog is older, sometimes we just have to accommodate the situation.

Today, I had a closing where my clients were moving about a hundred miles south of their current home in Chisago County. They were to give immediate possession to the new buyers after the closing so they had to have the home entirely cleared out prior to the meeting. With temps in the 80’s at 8 AM, it could have been deadly to leave a dog in the car so their terrier-mix, Max, had to accompany my clients into the title office. It was obviously the poor dog was already stressed from the move. He trembled and whined softl as he sat on his owner’s lap while she signed one document after another. Max is not a puppy and the stress of a move can be hard on an older dog. So I thought a few good reminders of what to do on moving day might be in order.

Keeping Your Dog Happy on Moving Day!

Make sure your pet is safe. Keep him in a safe room/kennel or at a trusted neighbor’s or pet sitter’s home while your belongings are being loaded into the truck. (A pet sitter directory is available here). Make sure it is a place your pet is familiar with as to not create additional stress. If you do leave your pet in a room in your home, remember to check in frequently unless you want to have a carpet cleaning and/or replacement bill added to your closing statement.

Identify your pet. Make certain that your pet’s collar or tags have current information with a cell phone number and/or the new home information so you can be contacted in the event of an escape.

Make the Carrier Feel Like Home. Put in your pet’s favorite blanket, toy or bed along with food and water for the trip. Remember a container of additional food and water in case of spills. It is a good idea to pack paper towels and wet wipes to clean up any messes from sickness or accidents during the ride. Don’t leave your pet unattended for more than a few minutes at a time in his transportation kennel.

CLICK HERE for additional tips on making your senior dog comfortable on moving day. 

Article written by Teri Eckholm who is a Minnesota REALTOR who works with families and their pets as they move throughout the northern Twin Cities metro.

Copyright 2011