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Friday, February 1, 2013

Caring for Becke-Part Three

Becke coming out of the tunnell

Another sign of a dog getting older is hearing loss.  It's slow and again most owners don't notice it until it's just about gone. They may not hear you call and so touch becomes  so very important.  When I'm walking Becke and want to change direction, instead of pulling her harness (which can cause her to fall over) I touch her back. She looks at me and then I change direction.  She can see me moving in a different direction and will follow me as I move.  This also works when I am moving from one room to another.  She may not notice that I am leaving a room  to go to bed or down the hall to my office. By touching her she knows something is about to happen.  She can then decide if she wants to join me or not, but she will not be surprised to be in an empty room. Do you touch your dog? Start now and it will not seem strainge to them later.

Skin and coat changes occur as well. I told you yesterday that Becke cannot use those spot on flea and tick treatments anymore and hasn't been able to since she was 10 years old. There can be other problems as well. Fatty tumors show up, sores on the skin don't heal as quickly or hot spots show up more often. Sores in the mouth or under the skin may appear.  Regular, soft grooming (especially the teeth and ears) willl allow you to see the changes and contact either the vet or groomer for advice. Either groom your dog yourself or visit a groomer often. Becke goes to the groomer every month for a quick oatmeal bath. Her nails and ears are also cleaned and she gets a once over from the groomer.

Older dogs often have problems keeping their body temperatures level.  The inability to either stay warm or cool off can really be a problem.  We've had temps down to -21 this winter so coats are so important to help her stay warm. Becke has several coats for the winter and in the summer, the A/C goes into the windows as soon as Becke complains. Thi is something that Hubby looks forwarded to since I don't get hot enough to want the A/C on - EVER!

Monday I'll talk about making the older dog comfortable.


  1. A long time ago I read somewhere that most dog owners talk way too much to their dogs and handle them far too little. Heeding that advice has kept me from yammering on incessantly to my pups, past and present - no small feat given the fact I like to yak.

    That said, I've always been very much hands-on with all my dogs. Touching my dogs as puppies taught them to welcome gentle handling, not only by me, but also from their vets, daycare staff, and trusted babysitters. And when my old dog got sick, she was able to enjoy, and benefit from, massages because she was accustomed to being handled all her life.

    When my sweet old dog's hearing started to go, I'd also touch her gently so as not to startle her awake from a nap, or if I needed her attention right away. For me, doing that was preferable to raising my voice at her. My hand signals cueing her behaviors needed to be exaggerated, but they still worked just fine.

    Accommodations made for our aging dogs aren't difficult to do.It's just a different mind set.

    1. You had a wonderful little white tornado who you took the best care of. She was loved by both your and your husband and she knew it. You are right, it's pretty easy to care for our oldder dogs. It's easy because we love them.

  2. It was difficult on us when our Westie got old. She lived past 16 by a few weeks. She spent a lot of time hiding behind opened doors. You would go into the bathroom or laundry room and there she would be. She eventually started walking into the trees or the brick wall fence outside and we had to put her down. It got to be too hard to watch. Sounds like Becke is still pretty good for her age and I pray for many more years with her.

    1. I'm so sorry about your little Westie. It's always so sad to have to make that choice for them. It shows how much you loved her that you would help her.

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  4. again, great advice for our aging pets!

    hope you have a nice weekend!


  5. There were a number of days that we'd turn on the AC ... not because we humans needed it, but because our dogs did. ;-)

    1. How funny! We turn on the AC before we would like to as well, just for the dogs. We are strange people.


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