Dog in grass

7 Tips on Teaching Your Old Dog New Tricks

June 22, 2017

Dog in grass

The first question is what is old age in dogs? A “senior dog” is a dog that has reached 50% of his or her life span. Not knowing exactly how long any dog will live, a good guess would be they have reached “senior dog” status by age seven or eight years old. This is with the assumption your dog would live to be 12 - 14 years old. That’s a great life for a dog and for the pet parent to enjoy together.

Even a lifespan of 14 years never seems to be long enough. The first years with your puppy were full of playing, chewing up your favorite shoes, stealing personal items and, of course, patient potty-training. The reward comes when they outgrow that mischievous stage and you have an older dog that becomes not just your pet, but a member of your family. As the happy medium starts to disappear, some simply attribute old age symptoms in dogs as wanting to sleep more and becoming less active. Your dog would love to have some of their youthful energy back.

Osteoarthritis in Dogs

When you hear the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” understand it may be for good reason. At Parnell Living Science, the first question often asked is – could the real problem be the dog has osteoarthritis? And if so, is this what is preventing them from wanting to be active, run and, of course, learn new tricks?

So let’s start with the question, what exactly is osteoarthritis? Think of it as arthritis in dogs. As many humans will get arthritis as they age, it is understandable that dogs will experience this too. Age isn’t the only factor, but it certainly is a big one.

80% of dogs over the age of 8 and 20% over the age of 1 will suffer from osteoarthritis (OA).

OA can be as painful for our dogs as it is for us. In healthy joints, a slippery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones in the joints. With OA, cartilage breaks down, causing pain and swelling. As OA gets worse, bone spurs can form, causing more pain and joint damage. When this happens, your dog may become less active or show signs of stiffness when getting up. However, OA can be difficult to recognize. Your dog may not show any signs of OA.

That is why Parnell Living Science has developed Glyde™ Mobility Chews for Dogs to combat the signs of OA and bring the youthful bounce back to your older dog. At Parnell Living Science, we are committed to making life better for dogs and therefore, pet parents.

7 Tips for Older Dogs

So with health and healing in mind, here are 7 tips to help make it possible to teach your adorable older dog new tricks:

  1. Give your dog supplements. Adults are learning the benefits of taking supplements as they age and the positive impact they can have on their health. The same goes for dogs. The earlier you start with Glyde Mobility Chews, the better. Give Glyde every day to bring back the playful puppy inside your dog.
  2. You eat healthy, so should your dog. Good nutrition is always a factor – for humans and for dogs. Remember that not every food for senior dogs is the right one. Again like people, as dogs get older their metabolism slows down, which causes weight gain. Extra weight can be a real issue for a senior dog and a contributor to the chances the dog has OA.
  3. Continue to teach. Just as adults need continuing education to sharpen their minds, so do dogs. Learning new tricks will stimulate a dog’s mind and they will be more attuned with changes in behavior and seek opportunity to do something different.
  4. Be patient. This is certainly a key for older dogs. They haven’t learned a new trick in a while. So be sure that you notice when you have their attention and when you don’t. If they start to look bored or distracted, that is a sure sign that they need a break.
  5. Reward their efforts. A nice healthy dog treat goes a long way.
  6. Enhance communications. The more tricks you teach your dog, the better the communication between you.
  7. Start simple and build up. Start with the easiest tricks going from sit, stay. Then work your way up to “Pick up Toys” and more. The more detailed your commands, the better your dog will begin to understand you.

Remember – you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! You just have to have the right systems in place. Place an order for Glyde Mobility Chews and get started today!

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