Our theme this month is bringing in new dogs and cats into your household - can you relate? Dr Riggs talks about bringing a younger dog into his older dog household and the issues to consider when doing so.
My response? Get a new dog! Who wants to be alone? Just don’t wait too long; we don’t want to wait until the pet becomes too old to enjoy their new companion. Most people often worry the old dog will feel left out or think he/she is being replaced. It’s not like we are the Indianapolis Colts, bringing in Andrew Luck to replace Peyton Manning. We are looking at a union. The vast majority of the time the new dog will rejuvenate the resident dog (after an initial “breaking in” period, of course). Dogs are perceptive. They quickly learn the boundaries with the elder dog.
One minor obstacle is food. Puppy food is 3 times the calories of adult food and loaded with fat and protein. Excess protein can tax the kidneys of an older dog and fat is what dogs live for. On the other hand the puppy needs the extra calories protein and fat for proper growth. So feed your dogs twice daily in their own dishes and don’t leave the unfinished portion down. Pick it up right after their dinner is done. On an aside I always recommend to feed ¾ of what is recommended on the food bag, to any dog, young or old. A lean dog will live 30% longer and have much less health problems.
Canine Companions for Independence, an organization dear to my heart. My senior dog is Maggie, the 16 year old wonder dog, who lost her life long companion, Boo 6 months earlier. She was lost. Ossa has become Maggie’s new friend, hearing dog and guardian angel. Maggie acts like a 6 year old dog, although deaf as a doornail. Her life is so much better with Ossa. So give your mature dog a companion in her/his golden years. You will be happy you did.
March is new pets in the home at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: adding a young dog to the household
Claim example: new Ragdoll cat in the house
Got a new puppy or kitten? Get pet insurance
Claim example: Boss the Rottweiler swallowed a rope toy
Other posts by Dr Riggs
Dr. Rex Riggs grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron. Dr Riggs is co-owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is also on the board of the North Central Region of Canine Companions of Independence, a board member of The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board at The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Riggs lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife Nancy, their dogs Maggie and Ossa, and cat Franklin. Outside of work, Dr. Riggs is an avid golfer and cyclist, and enjoys travel and photography.