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Hello dog lovers. I was hoping some of you out there could offer me some advice on minding my ageing dog.
She is about 15 years old now and a dalmatian/sheepdog mix. Lately her bones and joints are losing power and she struggles to do even the most simple of movements she could once achieve with ease.
Despite all this, when she is in a comfortable position she is still the happy dog she always was. It is my main wish and mission to keep things as comfortable as is possible for her in her last few months.
I've noticed she seems to prefer eating her meals sitting down (fully) instead of standing up etc. So i was wondering, are there people out there with dogs in the same position? and if so, any suggestions on things I could make/modify/manipulate to make her life a little bit easier? Anything at all would be helpful as her current set up is more suited to a young dog.
She's been my best friend my whole life.
Thank you :)
 

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Wish I could offer you some suggestions regarding how to keep her more comfortable physically, I'm sure you are doing your best.

Your post made me stop and reflect about the aging dogs I have had and how I chose to spend those days as the day of having to say goodbye drew nearer. I'd indulge my dogs even if it were not necessarily what we had done for all the previous years. I guess I spoiled them rotten and cherished every moment. 15 years is a long time with your furry bud, I'm both happy and sad for you at the same time, don't know if that makes sense??

Sorry I can't offer any help but thank you for posting as it reminded me of how special my past dogs were to me.
 

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I used this with my boy to help with his joints https://www.chewy.com/response-products-advanced-cetyl-m/dp/110237 Now I did not try it with my elderly boy, by the time I found out just how bad his arthritis was he was in severe pain so I opted for Rimadyl, I used the Cetyl M with my new boy for his luxating patella. Before you try anything have a talk with your vet about what he thinks will best help your girl.

When I had my elderly boy I tried to keep him on the carpet as much as possible since it helped him to have some traction when he got up and not have his paws slipping on the linoleum. His paws had started to slide out from under him when he ate so I started feeding him his meals on carpet, that one change seemed to help him a lot. My boy was only 24 lbs so I was able to carry him up and down the steps into the yard. If you have any steps I'd limit your girls access to them if you are not doing that already. If you have some that she needs to climb then there are slings that you can loop around her middle to help stabilize her and take some weight off her joints.
 

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If she prefers to sit down to eat, you might get a raised feeder for her, or you can either hold the bowl at a comfortable level/angle for her or prop it up on something if you don't want to buy a raised feeder. That way she doesn't have to bend down while sitting, which I would imagine is probably uncomfortable. When my old dog (who is small, but very creaky with arthritis) eats, we usually feed her on a plate, or if from a bowl, angle the bowl so she doesn't have to tip her head down over the side of the bowl. Sometimes she sits (or even lays down) to eat too. Rain mentioned feeding on carpet, and that's a big help, or a blanket, anything that will let her keep enough traction to stay still while eating.

It would be a good idea to visit the vet with her and see about putting her on a joint supplement (regularly) and maybe some NSAIDs or other pain medication (as needed). That way you might be able to alleviate some of her stiffness and discomfort, and make it easier for her to keep moving (which is important, old creaky dogs need to exercise within their limits to maintain mobility). There are some risks with NSAIDs, but most dogs do well with them and see huge improvements in quality of life, and you can monitor bloodwork for signs of illness if they take them regularly or over a long period of time.
 
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