This boy. We've had him since he was just a few days shy of 8 weeks old and now he's 10. He may not seem that old and certainly doesn't act like it most of the time but for an English Bulldog he's a senior based on bulldogs only have an average lifespan of 8-12 years.
Since he's survived longer than our first English Bulldog (she died at 7), figuring out how to care for a senior dog has been something new for us. It's one of those things that you don't really think about or anticipate until the time comes.
We named this boy, Dude, after the main character in our favorite movie, The Big Lebowski, and while he doesn't bowl or drink White Russians, and the ironic thing is he's the one peeing on our rug now. What is it with dogs? Or even kids for that matter? Our house is 98% hard surfaces and he can't help himself but to only go potty or throw up on a rug. And as you know, the rug really ties the room together.
If you're like me and have (or, rather had) no clue how to care for a senior dog then these tips are for you!
How to Care for a Senior Dog
1. Visit the vet regularly. Now is not the time to skimp on vet visits with your dog. Make sure to pay attention to their behavior and anything is out of the ordinary, you take your dog into the vet ASAP before it's too late.
2. Make necessary accommodations. Dude likes to be wherever we are, so using baby gates to block stairs or ramps to help him onto furniture are easy ways to help prevent injury and spare us another CCL (dog equivalent of an ACL) surgery.
3. Maintain their weight. After Dude's CCL surgery, one of the suggestions the veterinary orthopedist provided was to maintain (or even help, if needed, lose) his weight. Avoiding any extra weight/pressure on your dog's joints will help them to be more comfortable and stave off injuries.
4. Give them supplements. Just like when people age, when dogs age they need supplements to help them stay comfortable and active. Another suggestion for senior dogs courtesy of our vet is giving your dog a supplement of (or food that contains) glucosamine and chondroitin as well as fish oil capsules.
5. Be prepared for accidents. Taking care of a senior dog is a lot like taking care of a puppy (well, maybe not quite that bad) and accidents do happen. From anxiety to a weakened bladder, having the right products on hand to help deal with messes. The Dude used to be able to stay home alone for hours on end when we'd go visit family in San Antonio or friends in Houston, these days that can be a bit of a stretch so we keep Carbona 2-in-1 Oxy-Powered Pet Stain and Odor Remover on hand.
When you've been a dog parent for most of your adult life, you've likely tried every pet stain remover you can get your hands on. Through the years we've tried a lot of them. I can't really say all of them, but enough to know which ones don't work and which ones do a good enough job to use them faithfully. But until stumbling upon Carbona 2-in-1 Oxy-Powered Pet Stain and Odor Remover, I wasn't completely sold on a product.
Seriously though, this pet stain remover is pretty amazing. It permanently removes stains so they won't reappear, neutralizes odors to help discourage pets from having another accident in the same spot, without bleaching your carpet or rug. And the brush-top applicator helps to get stains out the right way!
For more amazing Carbona products to make life a little easier, check out the posts below with 5 Tips to Get Laundry Done Faster and How to Wash Airbrushed T-Shirts!