I'd been wanting a dog for a while, and I'd pretty much decided on a senior dog for several reasons: 1 . We have three cats and I thought a younger dog would be too rambunctious for them. 2 . We aren't particularly active people, so something a little more mellow would work better 3 . I knew they were less likely to get adopted 4 . Honestly, I wasn't sure how I would wind up liking the work of a dog, so a two to five year commitment seemed smarter than 15-20.
Our dogs and cats are not just pets, but family members. As they age, of course, they need more support from us. Just as people benefit from simple home modifications that offset aging, so do our furry family members. Redfin, a customer-first real estate brokerage, put their real estate and pet experts together to discuss the best ways to modify your home for an elderly pet.
At Grey Muzzle, we believe that connections and collaboration will always help more senior dogs in need, so we work hard to provide our grantees with unique opportunities to support their missions. Recently, we were able to connect Stella & Chewy’s with the Thulani Program, run by German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California.
Adopting any senior dog is a tremendous gift to both the person and the pup—they enrich our lives as much as we do theirs. And that, obviously, is an oversimplification. Wisdom says that choosing the right dog is all about finding the best animal for one’s environment and temperament. But there’s even more to it than that.
In the prior three articles we talked about the plans you need to make that will provide care for your pet, the people you appoint to carry out those plans, and plans to address the needs of your individual pet(s). These articles help pet owners learn how to navigate the journey their pets will take if they cannot care for them. We discussed creating a MAAP (Make a plan, Address needs, Appoint caregivers, Publish plan). This MAAP helps others care for your pets in the way you intended.
As your dog gets older, you want to make sure that you are making choices that will make their life as enjoyable as possible, including choosing the right food. There are more dog food options available than ever before, including many that are for “senior” dogs. What makes a dog a senior citizen? It can vary based on breed or size, with larger dogs being considered senior at 6-9 years, and small dogs not reaching that milestone until their early teens.
In our initial discussion of navigating the journey your pets take if you cannot care for them we talked about creating a MAAP (Make a plan, Address needs, Appoint caregivers, Publish plan). This MAAP will help others care for your pets in the way you intended. People think the only time they need a plan for their pet’s care is when they die. I thought so too until I broke my ankle. I had no plan in place to help my family care for my pets and me. This experience spurred me to write the initial MAAP program. Pet owners need a MAAP plan to cover their animal’s care if they are sick or injured.
The previous article introduced you to the concept of making a plan for the care of your pet. In that article you were encouraged to: Address your pet’s uniqueness. List their identifying characteristics including color, sex, age, and microchip number, if applicable. This information will be invaluable to those left to care for your family companions. The MAAP outline (Make a plan, Address needs, Appoint caregivers, Publish plan) you create should cover their eating habits and personality traits. By creating this document you enable the person caring for your pet to know its common behavior. It seamlessly allows someone to step into your shoes.