Tag Archives: health of older dogs

Older Dogs and their Health

Hi there, I’m back after a long layoff from this blog for no better reason than I just have been too busy with other projects that pay the bills and allow me to earn my living online. Anyhow, that’s of no real concern here, this is a blog about dogs and not about money, although you do need some to ensure your dogs are kept in the best of health. And that sort of leads me onto what I wanted to write about here. not so much the health of your dog, but more on their health as they get older.

Chelsea was the ripe old age of 11 when she died, which I’m told is not bad for a German Shepherd, although I’m sure that there were probably things I could have done to prolong that life a little longer. But would it have been wise? She was already feeling her age and with arthritis causing her pain in her hips, would it have been cruel to keep her going for longer? Tough question and there is probably no right answer. It would be down to personal feelings. Given the choice, I probably would have done – but I didn’t have the choice. I can console myself that she had an amazing life while she was here, growing up in England and then spending the last few years of her life on a beautiful mountain farm in southern Spain, free to run around and no one to threaten her (or me) because of social changes in the attitude towards large dogs.

So we move on a few years and you probably already know (if you have been reading this blog) that I have sort of inherited two Yorkies of advancing age. The girl, Daisy is 14 now and the boy, Ronnie (who is a cross and was a rescue dog) is estimated to be 13. They are both in reasonably good health for their age (Yorkies generally live longer than German Shepherds), although Daisy is less keen to go for walks now and sleeps a lot more. Ronnie is a total loco – he doesn’t know he’s old and still bounds around like a puppy. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I like to think that it is, because we all know you are only as old as you think you ar, and the same must go for dogs.

So what has kept them so healthy?

Well, the standard answer applies here. They have always eaten decent food, very little “human” snacks, they have always had plenty of exercise and live in a calm, happy home.

In fact, I believe a lot of a dog’s health has to do with its environment. When a dog lives in a home where there are always arguments, stress and a tense, negative atmosphere, the dog gets stressed too. Stress is a killer and if it doesn’t kill right away, it is a catalyst for a slow degenerative state of health. On the flip side, a dog in a loving, happy home where people are always laughing and the atmosphere is always calm, relaxed, peaceful and positive then they will enjoy better health, just like we do.

So aside from the regular visits to the vet to get their jabs, a regular de-parasiting and being fed well, I believe if your dog(s) live in a happy home, they will live longer, healthier lives. I think it probably also helps to be a little loco too…

Terry Didcott
For Dogs