𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒆𝒔 ‘𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅’ 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒐𝒈 𝒕𝒐𝒅𝒂𝒚?
What does 'good' look like for my senior dog today?
Think of it?
Now write it down in a place you'll remember and reassess this question every few weeks/months.
Look, one of the common things that happens in our older dogs is their ‘norm’ changes.
What was normal for them to be doing on a good day 6 months ago, looks different than that today. This is important at all points in a senior dog’s life but will be especially invaluable to you as they progress in age. .
Here’s an example:
Picture: Becca my 16 year old lab mix has a different definition of what 'good' looks like for her today then when she was 11 years old. Despite this change, both versions of 'good' still have her feeing happy and comfortable. (Photo by Velvetskies Photography)
Becca is an almost 16 year old lab mix that is my heart. When she was 11 years old, she’d play with our dogs in our backyard running, sprinting. She’d walk 2 miles. She felt good. Over the years, she plays less with the other dogs and now we’re at the point where she wags her tails when they are engaging in backyard shenanigans and barks at them to express her excitement. She still gets excited, but she can’t run and play with them like she used too. Today, our walks are about ¾ mile total but she still gets excited about them.
Her ‘norm’ for good days has changed. It’s ok that they changed. But today’s norm is important for me to remember. Because there may come a point where her norm is a life that she doesn’t enjoy. Or a life where she mostly just feels pain and when we get to that point with our beloved companions we get clouded and forget.
Though no one really wants to think about that, writing down what ‘good’ looks like for your senior dogs can help give you the clarity in the future when you’re faced with tough decisions.
What does normal look like for your dog today? Anyone have experience with this?