Getting a senior dog is a great plan that may offer you endless delight if you are adequately aware of the positives and downsides involved. An aged furry friend can provide you with a unique company but will require gentle love and care on your part. The word “senior” may be deceptive in and of itself because the age of maturity varies across breeds.
Not all dogs above the age of 7 are considered senior; a huge dog will approach adulthood at the age of 8 – 10 years, whilst a medium breed would reach maturity at the age of 6 – 7 years. As a result, be conscious of the life stage of the dog you are adopting, as this will aid in selecting the maintenance regimen and training tactics. However, whether you are adopting a puppy or an adult dog, you should take them to Virginia Beach veterinary hospital for medical examination.
Aside from fundamental concerns regarding breed facts and the specific physiological conditions of the chosen dog, you must spend time answering these important questions before adopting a dog in his golden years.
1) Are you adequately prepared and knowledgeable to deal with age-related and medical issues?
A senior dog, like any other animal, will experience health difficulties. As his caregiver, you must be properly informed and equipped to cope with the medical challenges associated with the dog’s old age and the costs related to keeping him well. Agility concerns in large breed elderly dogs are common, as are chronic issues in midsized breed dogs. It is highly recommended that you comprehend the day-to-day upkeep and pattern of the dog you decide to put into your life and be prepared to invest the time and money required to keep them fit and active.
2) Do you have the patience to correct negative behavior?
Before knowing you, older dogs have already formed a character and specific tendencies. If the dog’s prior owner or the rehabilitation shelter where it was housed ignored destructive tendencies like rubbish eating or frequent howling, you will have to change such habits. Remedial training will need time and persistence to address such habits and behaviors. Begin by making the dog feel entirely comfortable in your home, and then utilize strategies such as incentive reinforcement to correct negative behaviors.
3) Are you psychologically prepared for this exciting but brief ride?
When you bring a senior-friendly home, remember that his heyday is past. Though you will both treasure this relationship, it will be brief. A fully mature dog, say 6 or 7 years old, may enjoy a comfortable life for another 6-7 years with regular care from you. If you accept a senior dog at ten, your contribution will be more, but the partnership will be much shorter. Be prepared mentally for this, but don’t allow it to interfere with the relationship you’ve formed in such a short period of time.
4) Can you reverse the negative training?
An elderly dog may be taught new tricks, but reversing an existing behavior is arduous. A mature dog has lived a long life before you adopt him, and as his new parent, you must be willing to accept his previous life. Adult dogs persuaded into altering certain old habits may become fear biters, which mean they may begin nipping out of fear, particularly if they correlate your corrective instruction with an unpleasant event they had in their prior life. Thus, you should contact professionals at veterinary hospital or animal behaviorists.
5) How to deal with authority issues regarding senior dogs?
Although older dogs are accustomed to being companions and will follow their human parents, keep in mind that despite your kindness and affection for the dog, you are still a different person in their life, and it may take some time for it to become acclimated to you. Suppose the dog has previously been in foster care or has had a negative encounter with outsiders. In that case, you will need to spend more TLC and effort before the elderly canine welcomes you, responds to your companionship, or follows your directions.