I am sitting here looking at a gaggle of old French Bulldogs. A couple have grey faces, one has grey LEGS, Vegas just looks like a little granny dog and a couple just are not moving as fast as they used to (I can sympathize!). Like many breeders, I have reached a stage where I have old dogs. I am NOT complaining…just setting the stage for the sharing of some observations.
Senior dogs need extra TLC, just like all of us aging Boomers… First, diet needs to be changed. No matter how active you think Old Buffy is, after the age of six or seven, it is time to consider Senior Food. They may need a grain-free food, check with your vet, if needed. Also, cut back on so many treats and make sure they have not accumulated any extra pounds. An extra pound or two can be a LOT on a small dog!
Second, keep those teeth clean. Some Frenchies have a predisposition to tartar accumulation, so make sure you are having their teeth cleaned regularly. I know it is scary to put them under for a routine teeth cleaning, but it is for the best. Do the pre-anesthesia blood work and check up, of course. Share your concerns with your vet, maybe they have an alternative way to relax them. If teeth need to be pulled, do it, they won’t miss them. The cute little underjaw we love in our French Bulldogs makes for a bit of jumbled up teeth and they often lose a few.
Third, cut/dremel/file their toenails more often. As their pasterns drop a bit with age, their toenails will hit the ground at a different angle. Before you know it toenails will be too long.
Fourth, there may be some disorientation as they age. Like forgetfulness of where they are or what they were doing. Touch them gently and call their name. I also recommend our The Blissful Dog Aromatherapy created to support our senior dogs…Age Well.
Fifth, it can be easy to push the oldster aside if there are younger dogs. Remember when they were the king (or queen) and give them the respect and dignity they deserve. Not chastizing here, just gently reminding…Last, give them a BIG HUG from me!