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How to Care for Older Dogs, as Told By an Older Dog

Hi guys! Ollie here. You may remember me from my human’s introduction of me and my sister. There’s only so much sleeping and sniffing around the house a dog can do in a day, so I thought I’d use some of my free time to teach you guys about caring for an older dog. Whether you’ve got puppies or some white-faced pals like me (I think it makes me look very distinguished), I’ve got advice for you, since there were a lot of things my humans should have done for me when I was a puppy (I’m not mad at them though; they keep the cheese coming pretty regularly).

Even though I’m a dog, a lot of these tips apply to cats too, even though I’m not sure why you’d want a cat when you could have a dachshund.


  • Snoozin’ 1 of 13
    Snoozin'
    Don't get surprised when my sleeping habits change. Just like grandma, I wake up even earlier than I used to. I don't think there's a problem with this, as I'm totally saving my papa human money on alarm clocks! I know it can be hard for you humans to get up earlier with us, but don't be surprised when we poop on the floor after you ignore us in favor of sleep.
  • Co-snoozin’ 2 of 13
    Co-snoozin'
    (However, if you snuggle with me, then we both get to sleep and be warm.)
  • Jumping and Stairs Now Off-limits 3 of 13
    Jumping and Stairs Now Off-limits
    See my sister on the couch? She jumps up to get there, and she jumps back down. This is really bad for dogs, especially dachshunds, corgis, and other long guys like me, because it's bad for our backs, as are long staircases. Sometimes she and I hurt ourselves when we do this and then we need to be carted up and down everywhere for days. If you've got a new puppy, you should train him how to use dog steps, or not jump at all. My humans tried to teach me this when I was around 7, but I was already set in my ways.
  • A Winning Smile 4 of 13
    A Winning Smile
    Aren't my teeth funny? I've had to get quite a few pulled by the vet over the past few years, because my humans never got into the habit of using dog toothbrushes on me. They assumed that all the toys I played with cleaned my teeth. When your dogs get to be around my age, make sure your vet is checking all their teeth at their checkups so none get rotten and infected.
  • The Better to Hear You With 5 of 13
    The Better to Hear You With
    You know how the humans you know have gotten weirder as they've gotten older? Dogs do that too. For example, I only started sticking my ear out like this a few years ago. It's a great way to get extra scraps! And they say an old dog can't learn new tricks.
  • However 6 of 13
    However
    But don't call me weird. It's not nice.
  • Squeakin’ 7 of 13
    Squeakin'
    It's still really important for us to play and get exercise. I'm pretty little, so throwing a toy for me to run after and wrestle with you for it is good for me. I like to sleep a lot (see previous slide), so sometimes you'll just have to buy us lots of new toys that haven't had their squeakers ripped out yet to encourage us to play.
  • Food, Glorious Food 8 of 13
    Food, Glorious Food
    Apparently, my stomach has a limited capacity. I really don't think this is true; my humans must be kidding when they say if left unattended I'd eat until I exploded. But even though my capacity for begging for treats and scraps hasn't diminished with age, they feed me less than they used to a few years ago. They also give me dog food that's specially made for senior dogs, because it's got more of the stuff I need and fewer calories. They also give me smaller treats, which I think is just silly but they insist is smart.
  • I’m Just Like You 9 of 13
    I'm Just Like You
    You know all those crazy vitamins you take? We need them too! My papa human gives us glucosamine, which he says is for our joints, whatever those are. I like that they taste like meat! He also gives me fish oil to make my coat all shiny. He takes those too, so I think they must be real treats, not like those bone-shaped biscuits he tries to pass off on me.
  • Is That Meat I Smell? 10 of 13
    Is That Meat I Smell?
    My nose is still excellent, but my other senses may change as I get older. Make sure your vet is checking your pup's vision.
  • What’s Up, Doc? 11 of 13
    What's Up, Doc?
    Speaking of the vet, you'll probably be seeing a lot of him when your pets get older. If you've got a young dog now (under age 7) or are thinking of getting a pet, make sure you purchase pet insurance right away. My humans didn't know this was an option when they got me, and they've spent quite a bit on my vet bills throughout my life.
  • Sign My Cast 12 of 13
    Sign My Cast
    See? If they had purchased pet insurance, maybe they wouldn't have had to shell out for this sad bandage on my foot.
  • One More Thing… 13 of 13
    One More Thing...
    No matter how many years you do this to us, we will always hate it. Sorry.

Share your older pet care tips in the comments! —Ollie and Alexandra Martell

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