New Year, Old Dog!

Sparky's Guide to Grrrowing Old Gracefully

Sparky the Border Terrier Doghouse

Lots of you will be familiar with Sparky, the catalyst behind the opening of our first pet shop and the star of many useful videos over the years. Many of you tentatively enquire as to how he is now that he is retired from the daily shop dog duties and I’m happy to tell you he is very well indeed. He is doing amazingly for a nearly sixteen-year-old! Like many old dogs, he has failing sight and is mostly deaf but there is absolutely nothing wrong with his nose and he is still in possession of all his teeth. Not bad for a 108 year old man in dog years! We've put together some tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy into their old age so hopefully your dog can live a long and happy life, just like Sparky!

So, what are my top tips for keeping your dog healthy into their dotage?

Diet. 

Feed them the best food that you can afford, it doesn’t have to be the best food on the market but the best within your budget. Like us, a dog's health is often a reflection of what they eat and Sparky is a good example of this. We haven’t always fed him the best (& without exception, our suppliers would all argue that they are, in fact, the best!). Over the years Sparky has tried a wide variety of different dog foods... dry kibble, dry kibble mixed with wet food, wet food and raw food and they've always been the best we could afford. And always listen to your vet, your groomer or your pet shop girl when they gently tell you that your dog needs to lose some weight, it’s really important and we all only want the best for your dogs!

Exercise. 

Mostly Sparky has always exercised me, but now he’s older, I definitely lead the way. His squirrel chasing days are over and he sleeps a lot more. His walks are now much more about him bumbling along exploring the smells so we try to take him to new places and vary his walks to keep it engaging for him.

Dental. 

Sparky is really a walking testament to Plaque Off, the seaweed powder which helps stop the build up of plaque and tartar. It works, well it has for Sparky anyway! He’s 15 and a half years old and he’s never had any dental work, he doesn’t have bad breath and although his teeth aren’t ‘Hollywood white’ they are pretty decent for an old dog. That’s his oral hygiene programme, I knew I would never be great at finding the time to clean his teeth regularly so plaque off seemed the perfect answer. I simply add a scoop a day to his food and it works its magic.

Arthritis. 

Diet and exercise obviously play a massive part in preventing and managing arthritis but there is no getting away from the benefit a good joint supplement can bring. I really notice the difference in Sparky’s back legs if we’ve run out of Joint Aid for Dogs at home.

Toys and Mental Stimulation. 

With his declining eyesight we have had to find new ways of playing, he doesn’t hoon around with a ball so much but he does still enjoy a gentle tug of war with a soft toy. His absolute favourite game is a K9 Connectable, he is still very treat oriented and this is a great way of making him think and play, with the added bonus of a peanut butter treat for him. Shop our Interactive Toys Collection here.

k9 connectables for dogs

 

So there you have it... Sparky's Guide to Grrrowing Old Gracefully. We only ever wish the best for our four legged friends, so hopefully they can stay with us for as long as possible while living happily and healthily. We hope this guide can help you achieve that! 

Love from the the Doghouse Dogmother, Ruth and her sidekick Sparky. X

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