Watching our beloved Super Seniors at Active Pet Rehabilitation, and listening to their parents share experiences, the answer to all these questions is in the detail.
Surviving Summer Parties
Avoid family overfeeding, especially leftovers. Bones can splinter and cause blockages. Greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause an upset stomach or acute medical emergencies. Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are all poisonous to dogs and cats. Raisins, grapes, and even currants can also be toxic to dogs.
Leaving wrapped gifts or plants where noses can be tempted, and boredom can lead to unwanted destruction could end with a trip to the vets to treat a poisoning or intestinal obstruction.
Holiday Hazards to avoid
Here are just a few holiday plants and foods that can be poisonous to pets:
- Grapes and raisins
With careful management of food intake and safe retreat zones for pets away from noisy, boisterous guests Christmas gatherings can be fun for everyone.
If friends and family are bringing their own pets make sure all fur babies are comfortable in each others company or safely separated.
Avoiding the Beach time Blues
If your favorite furry has been walking regularly throughout the year a beach trip should be more fun than fatigue for them.
However, excursions to the beach take a little more planning than a walk around the block or a trip to the local park.
Bear in mind that their tolerance of temperature change is not as good as a younger dog, and so staying in the warm sun or lying in a cool breeze at the beach quickly becomes uncomfortable.
Going early in the morning, taking shade and water, and not staying too long are the keys to a great day at the beach for beloved seniors.
If you are planning a new exercise regime with your favorite senior it is best to start slower and progress more slowly than with a younger healthy dog, as their ability to adapt to new physiological stresses is reduced. A good rule of thumb is to progress no more than one to two components of daily life at a time.
If you are looking for ideas on where to start head over to our new tricks for old dogs page.
How much exercise is too much? My advice is that your pet should not be significantly worse after exercise that night or the next day. Some muscle soreness or stiffness is okay, as long as they ‘warm out of it’ within a couple of minutes of being up and moving.
Does your Super Senior need a new sidekick?
- How do the people you live with feel about having another pet in the house?
- Is your current residence suited to the type of pet you’re considering?
- How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for another pet, with at least as many demands as your resident fur baby?
- Will your current plan for your resident pet during holidays and/or work travel still work with an extra mouth to feed and manage?
- How many other pets do you have and how will they react to a new pet?
- Do you or any of your household/family members have health issues that may be affected by another pet of a different species or hair coat. Don't forget, not every designer "non-shedding" pup lives up to that promise.
- What breed, or species, of animal is the best fit with your current lifestyle? If your beloved Border Collie or lovely Labrador long since retired to the couch they may not appreciate a high energy, easily bored puppy hanging from their ears.
- Do you want a pet who follows you all around the house or would you prefer a less clingy, more independent character?
- Do you need a pet who will be reliable with children or one you can take with you when you travel?
We would love to hear your thoughts and tips on sharing the Silly Season with your super seniors
in the comments section below, or over on our Facebook page.
And we hope you have a Happy and Safe Festive Season with all of your family, furry and otherwise,