From Old Yeller to Chief in The Fox and the Hound, old dogs hold a special place in our hearts. With their greying fur and gentle manner, geriatric dogs are special in their own unique ways. These aging companions have some interesting quirks that separate them from their younger counterparts.
At Wapiti Labs, we take pride in creating supplements that help dogs young and old live the best life possible. With our Senior Mobility Supplement, we keep older dogs healthy, happy, and strong. But our love of seniors doesn’t end there; we always love learning more about the animals in our care. And so, here are five fascinating facts that might surprise you about geriatric dogs.
1. You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
You’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but that’s not actually true. Those who welcome an older dog into their family know that old dogs can learn just as well as younger dogs. You might have to use different means of training than you would with a puppy, but old dogs are still highly trainable.
When training an old dog, the key to success is patience. Your old dog may have years of bad habits or alternative behaviors built up that you’ll need to slowly work to correct. Try using lots of praise and high-quality treats to further incentivize their learning.
2. Senior Pets Are the Last to Be Adopted
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that older dogs are the last to be adopted at shelters, putting them at an increased risk of euthanasia. It’s such a shame; older dogs make great companions. They’re typically mellower than their younger counterparts and require less training than puppies. While they’re not perfect, most older dogs are typically already potty trained and don’t require as many bathroom breaks as puppies. Plus, older dogs tend to be easier to walk. This isn’t to say that older dogs are better than younger ones; we’re just saying that you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of adopting an older dog.
3. A Dog is Considered “Senior” After They Turn Seven
While seven may seem young to some, it actually classifies a dog as senior in the eyes of most canine experts. At seven, some pets may not even look that old. While grey hair gives away a pet’s age, a seven-year-old dog may have little to no grey hair. Make sure to check your dog’s age before adopting, or take your pup to a veterinarian to pin down its approximate age. Knowing your pet’s age can help you determine the level of care they need. Starting preventative care as soon as possible can help to prolong your pet’s life.
4. Preventative Care Can Help Your Senior Pet Thrive
Just like how humans can benefit from vitamins and supplements, pets can as well. For example, Wapiti makes many supplements that can help your senior pet thrive. From the classics like our Senior Mobility Supplements to our Strength formula, we have multiple natural supplements that can increase your senior dog’s energy, mobility, and quality of life. Our Senior Mobility Supplement alone will offer your senior pet the following benefits:
- Supported long-term health
- Proper body function support
- Elevated overall quality of life
- Joint mobility
- Stamina and endurance
- Immune system and normal blood cell health support
- Kidney health
- Eye health
5. Geriatric Dogs May Need Help Staying Healthy
When your dog is young, he’ll need boosters to stay healthy and develop his immune system, but an older dog may need a little more help. Now that’s not to say that young dogs will be completely healthy all the time, but like with humans, an older dog’s system can become compromised very easily. Owners of older dogs have to be careful with their senior companion’s health. Senior pets can quickly become ill if overexposed to the elements, or if exposed to illness through other dogs. You’ll need to be smart while out and about with your senior pet. Keep them away from communal water dishes and try to keep them from getting wet when it’s cold out, or getting overheated in the summer months.
Keep Your Senior Pet Healthy With Wapiti
Whether you’ve just added a new senior pet to your home or your longtime companion has entered his golden years, Wapiti is here to help you keep your senior pet happy and healthy. With our natural, elk-velvet-based supplements, you can help your pet lead a long and happy life. If you have any questions about your senior dog’s care or would like to learn more about any of our products, don’t hesitate to give us a call!