Blog Post

Feb 28 | Loni Patke

Spotting the Signs Your Dog is Entering the Golden Years

You might say I rescued my Rosie girl, a miniature dachshund, but the truth is: she rescued me. Thirteen years ago, I enjoyed college but still felt lonely at times, missing family and friends back home in Jackson. So, I searched numerous places, until I found the perfect ‘apartment dog.’ Rosie has experienced college life, married life, a move back home to southeast Missouri, and more. She loves shopping, attending sporting events and traveling. My husband and I could not imagine life without her.

As a veterinarian, I also recognize my sweet Rosie is embracing her golden years. Remember, for every year that passes, dogs age by seven years. Typically, when a pet reaches six or seven years old, they are considered to be aging. Many small breed dogs, like Rosie, live between 12 and 15 years.

Rosie sleeps more frequently now. Instead of running to greet me, I have to wake her up for those evening snuggles. She doesn’t always hear me calling her name to come back indoors, which indicates hearing loss. When I see Rosie affected by her disc disease, experiencing muscle tremors, or when she stops moving her head to look around, I start her on medication to relieve those symptoms, which are typical for her breed. 

At Bootheel Animal Clinic, we strongly feel age is not a disease. To make it more manageable and for your pet to be happier, pay close attention to these behaviors: drinking, appetite, bathroom habits, sleeping patterns, coughing or respiratory changes, and skin/coat condition. Scheduling routine wellness visits and regular dental cleanings is vital.  We highly recommend routine lab work and even x-rays. This helps establish a baseline for us to compare, in case the day arrives when your pet is in more serious health. 

Together as pet owners and veterinarians, we can help ensure your pet’s golden years are their best years. After all, caring for Rosie in this stage of life is the least we can do for all the unconditional love she has given to us these past 13 years.