Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Easing Into Double Digits

Murray’s big brother Piper turned 10 last week.  It was quite a celebration because there was a time during his early years that we didn’t think we would survive him.  He was a high maintenance puppy
and young dog to say the least.  He chewed everything in sight, was very high strung and a tad aggressive at times. We did a lot of work over the early years with Piper and he slowly adjusted into a well behaved, disciplined dog.  It amazes me that 10 years have passed! Now that he is in double digits and Murray is middle aged at 6, I have taken a closer look at everyday things to help make the aging process a bit easier on them.  Here are a few things we’ve done:

High Quality Dog Food with Glucosamine/Chondroitin

I spent a lot of time researching the dog food I felt was best for my guys last year.  Prior to my investigating I did feel I was feeding a well-known, high quality food, but I hadn’t done any looking into what levels of protein and fats etc would be best for MY particular dogs and THEIR needs.  I also felt I needed to consider other things, like grain vs grain free, flavor varieties (Murray is picky) and where the food is produced (USA) and distributed.  I also wanted to know any and all recall history.  When I looked deeper, I saw the food I was feeding at the time, while a good food, just seemed too high in protein for my dogs. It also had a high number of past recalls.  I knew it was time for a switch.  After comparisons, searches and many trips to the store, I settled on Nutri Source Pure Vita.   It’s a grain free, holistic food with protein levels within my comfort level.  I didn’t find any recalls, it is produced in the USA and I could find it locally (although I do have my food auto-shipped from chewy.com).  An added bonus…it contains  glucosamine/chondroitin along with many antioxidants which is a benefit to any dog but especially aging ones.

Throw Rugs

Sounds funny, but if you have rooms in your house with hard floors (like the kitchen) throw rugs make a huge difference to aging dogs. Piper spends a lot of time in our bathroom (it’s his safe spot from noise) and our kitchen.  We have scattered small throw rugs around these rooms to make sure he has a good grip to get up and down. Luckily he doesn’t show any signs of stiffness yet, but hopefully
aiding in his getting up and down in this way will keep that at bay longer.

Bed Steps

Piper doesn’t get on our bed too often, but Murray does, every night. It’s hard to get him to choose to use the bed steps my husband made for him to get on the bed, but he always chooses to use them getting off the bed.  I am pleased with that for now since most injuries can happen jumping down from high areas as opposed to up.

Dog Bed

We have several dog beds in our house.  Two in the living room and a few upstairs.  I try to make sure they are supportive and comfortable.  We have a bean bag style one, a stuffed one, beds with bolsters and egg crate beds.  No matter what I do though, Piper seems to ball his bed all up and sleep in the mess.

Car Ramp

Our latest change has been purchasing a dog ramp for the guys to get in and out of our Jeep.  It took a few practice sessions, but I think they both have it down now!  Again, I try to use it every time they get out of the car but sometimes they beat me jumping in before I get the ramp out.  This ramp is especially helpful when we're on vacation and in and out of the car multiple times in a day.  I was finding Piper was tiring quickly and ending the day sore.  Since we've had the ramp, that has changed completely.

Happy 10th Birthday, Piper!

13 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Piper! Wishing you many more.Thanks for the tips to help keep your dog healthy into old age. I have get to have the pleasure of owning a double digit dog.
    Lee and Phod's Lady

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  2. Happy 10th birthday Piper. 10 is a huge milestone. Congratulations! We've recently switched our aging Audi to a raw diet to maximize his health. My entire house is made up of hardwood floors. Maybe we should get some rugs so that he has an easier time walking around!

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  3. Happy Birthday Piper!!! We are only 2 but we are big fans of throw rugs too - actually we have what mom calls our "play mat" it's a special rug she puts out in the evening just for us while we watch tv with her and dad. We love it, we sleep on it, play on it, chew rawhide on it *BOL*
    Wally & Sammy

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  4. Happy Birthday Piper. Just shows you if you are prepared to work with a dog they can turn out great like he did. We would like a hardwood floor but it isn't an option at the moment with the girls.
    Lynne x

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  5. Great tips and we do all of those except the car ramp as Ancient Pip is easily picked up.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday all.
    Best wishes Molly

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  6. Happy (belated) Birthday Piper! I agree with you, rugs are not bad if you have slippery tiles on the floor. Therefore we used rugs to make a "race track" for me :o)

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  7. Great post! Happy 10th Piper! My guys are 6 and 10 also :-)

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  8. Oh, Happy Burthday Piper!! Ma does all those 'older dog' things already for me...hum....what exactly does she think I am??! BOL
    I even have a memory foam bed which is my favorite, and I can't ball up like my other bed!! hehehe
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  9. Happy Birthday Piper!!!!

    Wow don't they grow fast!? Doesn't it sometimes feel like yesterday when they are so little, and tiny?

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  10. Happy belated birthday Piper and many many more to come :) xxoxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  11. Happy belated birthday Piper!! We can relate to the whole senior thing! xo Chloe and LadyBug

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  12. Happy 10th Birthday, Piper!

    Monty and Harlow

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