Leven met Sierra en tips over de zorg voor oudere honden

Leven met Sierra en tips over de zorg voor oudere honden

maart 3, 2020 0 Door admin


February 23, 2020

Wagon for old dog | WhiteOnRiceCouple.comhis cancer here. As Sierra, our white boxer, ages we often get asked about the type of food we feed her and the things we do to keep her going for almost 15 years. So we want to share our thoughts in caring for senior dogs and what we do to keep them happy and healthy. We’ve lived through the process of caring for an old dog before and have learned a lot about how to manage all the changes that come with being dog parents.  

She’ll be 15 years old in August 2020, which in human years equates to being well over 90 years old. We brought her home when she was 8 weeks old and she still has the same energy and excitement for cuddles and walks almost 15 years later.  She’s significantly slower now, often falling and tripping because her lower back and two back legs are giving out. Her left front paw is weak too so she has what we call: 2 and a half flat tires. As long as she has 1 and a half good tired left she’s happy to still be able to get around the house. We’ve figure out ways to have her always travel with us because we’ll never ever leave her behind. 

Here’s our way to caring for her in her senior years: 

  • Lots of cuddles and affection. No matter how tired she is, she’ll never pass up love and affection. We always make time to give her head rubs, hugs and love. We’re all happy when we have our cuddle moments. 
  • Short walks, more often. Her brain says she wants to go everywhere, but her body says it’s tired. We always make sure she still get out to walk, hike and adventure. But the trips are short if she’s walking her own because back legs are giving out on her and she doesn’t have her younger stamina. So we have back-up plans to still get her outdoors and mentally stimulated. 
  • Doggie Stroller or wagon. We call these her “adventure-mobiles”. We still have her walk alongside her stroller or wagon because it’s important for her to still move. But as soon as we think she’s getting tired, she gets carried in her stroller or wagon and she’s a happy camper traveling in first class. We love this stroller and though it wasn’t meant to be off trail, we’ve used it and abused it in the outdoors. It’s held up well, considering how many dirt puddles and small rocks it’s gone over.  We’ve nicknamed it the “Groot-mobile”, which is weird but somehow fits. We’ve added on a good bicycle headlight for getting back to the car easier at the end of the day. The wagon (one kind of like this which we got at Costco) is just a utility wagon, not meant for dogs. But again, we’re all about comfort for Sierra and it’s worked for us on city trails.

Old Dog Stroller | WhiteOnRiceCouple.comadventure harness. We call it an adventure harness because she get lifted over areas where she can’t get her back legs over anymore. Now that she’s lost even more mobility in her back legs, we’re thinking of getting her this better harness which a couple vets have suggested. They approved of her current harness, but the back lift helper on the other harness is a bit of an improvement over ours. 

  • Rescue harness for emergencies. We have this with us for emergencies because it’s small and easily packs in a small bag. We have bigger dogs, so in emergencies this harness is a quick and safer way of transporting them and if we are in an emergency situation, this harness is meant to secure and lift them out. This is something we are always going to have on hand when adventuring outdoors, no matter the age and mobility of our pups.Dog rescue harness | whiteonricecouple.comcooling scarfs & towels have been great in the hot Summer. Soak ’em in cold water and then put them on the pups and the panting will quickly mellow out. We’ll usually chill them before hand too for a little extra coolness when it’s extra hot outside. We feel it is also super important to have a lot of water for them to drink when out in the heat. You can never bring too much.
  • Elevate their food and water. As her back legs were giving out, we noticed that she couldn’t bend down to eat and her body would fall forward. That was one reason why she couldn’t eat. Her back legs weren’t strong enough to support the weight of her lowered head. We had an awesome folding step stool that fit her height perfectly. So find something that works for the height of your dog and the water or food bowl.
  • elevate dog food bowl | whiteonricecouple.comThis bed is our current house favorite. Sierra starts to “leak” more often, so we lay washable pee pads on the beds, which saves us washing the beds every day. These pee pads are small and easy to wash and manage.

  • Ramps around the house. We’ve built ramps all around the house to help Sierra move around the house without falling. We’ll top all of the ramps with an outdoor carpet or similar rug to give her grip while using the ramps. Our house is all wood or tile flooring, which causes Sierra to slip more often, so we’ve also added area rugs in areas where she’s more prone to slip. The rugs have been super helpful for her weak back legs to grip the floor easier, without slipping.
  • Mental and physical stimulation: Don’t let them sleep all day! They need mental stimulation and physical stimulation. Lexi, the little sister Rhodesian Ridgeback helps the mental because she harasses and annoys Sierra to get out and play. This mental stimulation is healthy and often makes Sierra more alert and active.
  • CBD oil for dogs? We tried it and it didn’t help immediately. She was literally dying, so the the CBD wasn’t going to save her life. But we do believe if we started earlier, it could have helped more as a preventative. We still give her CBD oil now and will continue after she is through with the steroid pills.
  • Acupuncture for dogs? Yeah, we tried that too but only once when she was literally dying. So it’s hard to say that it was even valuable. We believe it’s not something that’s going to save your dog’s life, but do believe it could have helped Sierra if we did it a year earlier and more frequently. Pursue acupuncture earlier-on when you know your dog shows weakness. For Sierra, her back feet have had poor circulation for the last few years and are always cool, but nearly immediately after her acupuncture session, they were warm, a great sign! For rehab and preventative measures, we feel it would be beneficial.
  • Give them more hugs, belly rubs, head rubs and cuddle time. There’s no such thing as loving them too much and showering them with affecting. 
  • Lastly, research online like we did and find out how other folks care for their elderly dogs. There’s tons of new and helpful products to give our fur babies a comfortable and happy life.
  • hugs,

    diane, todd, sierra and lexi

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