I wrote many months ago (my, how time flies!) about how we love our old dog. But there's another side to pets that live a really long time. Since today is not only Halloween, but the last day of National Pet Wellness Month, I thought I'd let you take a peek into what it's like to care for an aging, large (90-pound) pet. It's something to consider when you're choosing that cute little puppy. Will you be able to handle a senior pet that may have mobility issues later on?
Experts* estimate about 25% of our country's pet population is comprised of aging pets, and pets' care requirements change as they go through the natural life cycle.
I have to pay a mobile groomer, who is strong, has a special table and special equipment to come bathe and trim her now. Because of arthritic back legs (very common in many breeds of large, older dogs and a result of her double hip surgery when she was a puppy), she is not able to stand for very long like she used to when I gave her an outside hose bath.
And she often falls when she tries to get up.
Another thing to keep in mind is that large dogs who become stiff and partially immobile need someone to help them squat when they go to the bathroom. Not fun, but it has to be done (Thanks, my son).
Expecting troubles during the aging process would never deter me from adopting a large breed dog, but it's something for every family to consider before making the decision.
Happy belated 16th birthday, Molly!
TCB and the whole gang
* American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)