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Senior Dog Sitting in Backyard

Special Care for Your Senior Dog

November 15, 2017 Sarah Coggins
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Our family recently, and rather suddenly, expanded by four feet. The kids had been begging for a new pet since we lost our last cat 2 years ago. (Okay so the 8 year old has done most of the begging while encouraging his sister to join in.) Not ready for the responsibility again, Trent and I held off. Little did we know that that would leave an opening for a new family member later.

5 Tips for Caring for Your Senior Dog #ad #ProPlanPossibilities

Last month, we became dog owners for the first time in our lives. To say this is a little adjustment is an understatement. Dogs require different care and attention than cats. We’re learning.

Lady is also learning and adjusting with us.

She belonged to my in-laws and lost them as suddenly as we did. She changed homes twice in that time. She’s been around the grandkids on occasion, but never lived in a home with children. She has a new yard, a new schedule, etc.

Senior Dog Sitting in Backyard

It’s a lot of change for a dog – especially a senior dog. One of our goals when taking her in was helping to provide her with the best possible life for the years she has left. So we’re all learning together to help make that possible and PetSmart is a big part of that. With helpful, friendly staff available to answer our questions as well as everything we need (leash, bed, food, toys, crate, etc) to adapt to being first time dog owners.


We found a vet in our area to give Lady a full check-up and updated shots during her first week with us. She now has a set schedule to maintain these for the future. Plus, Trent requested a “spa” treatment for her. The staff gave her a bath, trimmed her nails, etc. Little things, but care she needed.


As we did with our cats, we’re trying to provide Lady with the best food possible. We want to be sure her diet meets her needs at this stage in her life. Since Purina® is a brand we know and trust, we visited the myPLAN website to help us select the right food for Lady.

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It recommended Purina® Pro Plan® Bright Mind dry food to help promote mental sharpness, maintain her joints, and encourage digestive health. With formulas for different breed sizes and high-quality protein as the main ingredient, it is something we feel good about feeding her.

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And, because we enjoy “spoiling” her with a little extra something a few times a week, we also selected a few cans of Pro Plan® SAVOR® wet food plus a bag of tasty Purina® treats from our local PetSmart.

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While she may be older, she still needs entertainment. We’ve been trying a variety of toys to see which she prefers. We learned during our first few days that playing fetch is not her thing. She’ll happily watch the kids chase after a ball and return it though!

PetSmart Toy Aisle

Thankfully PetSmart has plenty of toys to choose from so we have lots of options. My kids are having nearly as much fun here selecting new ones for Lady to try as they are searching for toys for themselves.

Warm, Dry Place to Sleep

Lady has always been an outside dog and that hasn’t changed since joining our family. We already had a fenced in backyard to provide a secure place for her to roam and play. Trent brought a dog house from his parents’ house, then purchased a new soft bed to give Lady a safe place to retreat to.

On colder nights we set up a large crate in the garage with her bed inside. She wasn’t so sure about this the first time we tried it, but quickly realized how warm and cozy it was – we began to struggle getting her out in the morning!

Senior Dog Attention


One of the best things we can do for Lady is give her plenty of attention. She’s been through a lot just as we have. Taking the time to show her we care goes a long way. We spend time playing with her in the backyard, petting her, and taking her for walks.

Walking our Senior Dog

Hopefully with proper care and love, we’ll have many happy days ahead with her. Have any senior dog care tips for us?


  • Jenna Wood November 15, 2017 at 7:36 pm
    Caring for a senior pet definitely takes some extra consideration, our cat just turned 7 and we've begun looking into new diets. #clients
  • Andrea Bates November 29, 2017 at 6:12 pm
    Oh, what a sweetheart! Please let me know if you need anything at all. <3
  • Julie Sancken December 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm
    I'm so happy to hear that Lady has a new home, and that you are all doing well!
  • Thomas May 3, 2018 at 12:54 am
    Sarah, my Aggy touch 9 in this July. I'm also concern about her. You know it's a crucial time for her because she is passing the last stage of her life by the way. :'( I love her a lot. I take care of her as must as possible but I don't satisfied with my care. Dieting is a crucial issue you know. Obviously, I follow your special care suggestion. Thanks a bunch for sharing.
  • Dana R. Thompson May 6, 2018 at 5:31 am
    It’s unfortunate, but one day your dog will become a senior and not as springy and agile when he was a puppy. I love the way you highlighted senior dog care through simple and easy to follow tips. I’m bookmarking this, as in a few years, I’ll be needing this for sure!
  • Sara May 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm
    Sorry to hear your loss. I'm sure Lady has had a rough time too. I know that older dogs, like people, get comfortable with their ways so it sounds like a big adjustment for her. It sounds like y'll are doing a great job taking care of her. Good job!
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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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