Adopting an older dog (retriever)

(12 Posts)
fatowl Sat 19-Mar-16 11:42:50

We're looking to adopt a dog. (BTW we are not in the UK)

I work part time (three short days), and I have teen dds, and so would not get a puppy.

We've been to see a retriever bitch today (referred through a rescue), but is currently still with her family.
She was rescued from a "shelter" by this family in a bad way (very underweight, neglected, bad skin condition) about 4 years ago, they think she is 8-10 years old.
They are leaving the country and cannot take her, and have asked the rescue who referred us to help rehome her.

We don't know much about her history, except she was in the "shelter" for a fairly long time (6-12 months) and she was caged much of that time. They don't know anything about her before that.

We took her for a walk and she seems lovely and calm. Happy to play for a short while but was tired after her short walk (it is super hot today)

Current family say she is used to being left for short times and is a very loyal, calm old lady. Doesn't bark at all.

Is there anything else we should think about? Vet care is good and reasonable (compared to the UK), she would be alone for 3x 6 hours per week.

Teen dds adore her already, DD14 esp has wanted a dog for a long time. We've fostered puppies for the rescue before and we agree we'd rather take an older dog permanently.

Anything else I should think about?

marghini Sat 19-Mar-16 11:45:48

Adopting a senior pet is a wonderful thing to do. I am sure you will love her to bits.

thanks

fatowl Sat 19-Mar-16 11:53:10

We loved her, but want to make sure I've thought of everything.
My friend also has a retriever, and says would look after her if we went on holiday and could get a dog sitter.

fatowl Sat 19-Mar-16 11:54:43

couldn't get

2plus1 Sat 19-Mar-16 14:10:59

We had a lovely Labrador until she was 13years. She was very loyal and extremely calm with our young children. In her later years she calmed right down but these are the things about her I remember:
1. Has she been spay?, if not there will be seasons to deal with and pyometria is a risk.
2. Ours played a lot less as she aged and slept more.
3. Watch for lumps and bumps in this breed as tumours (mast cell) are common requiring surgery.
4. Arthritis is an aging issue in this breed with stiffness. Early diagnosis means a better life for your dog. We used cymalgex but it was expensive. Walks became slower and shorter as the condition progressed.
5. A Labrador will inhale their food at extreme speed. Watch out for stomach bloat and maybe give three smaller feeds with a slow feeding bowl. They drink more as they get older and drip jowl full of water on your floor! We used a special bowl to reduce this.
6. Senile dementia can occur and they can become creatures of habit.
7. Ours walked very well but could slip a collar due to a thick neck and small head combo. We used a harness to walk her as it was less pressure on her throat. In the winter she had a dog coat to keep her warm.

Our dog did not put me off rehoming a geriatric. These are lovely dogs to home. Hope it all goes well for you all.

RosieMapleLeaf Sat 19-Mar-16 14:16:51

We adopted a dog when he was 12 years old, his former owner wanted to surrender him to the shelter!! Madness. I knew nothing about him other than a photo but no way would I let a dog that old be in the shelter.

He passed away this past Christmas but he had more than 2 years with us. He was the best dog ever.

There is nothing better than the love of an old dog! I miss him every single day.

2plus1 Sat 19-Mar-16 15:45:06

Also check the food she is on. Ours had a funny tummy if food was changed too quickly. We had to use a good quality dried food such as James wellbeloved as with cheaper foods her coat lost its oils and she developed flaky skin. These dogs need the oils for their fur condition. Feed less to keep her weight right so that her joints are not put under pressure. Lastly, they typically have mucky ears so we would give her ears a clean with a solution from the vet.

starjumper Sat 19-Mar-16 15:50:00

Ah how lovely. Nothing to add but I much prefer the wisdom of an older dog. Puppies are overrated imho!

fatowl Sat 19-Mar-16 23:45:36

Thanks for all your replies , esp all that detailed info 2plus1.smile

fatowl Sun 20-Mar-16 11:17:04

Well, we brought her home today.
So far so good, she'd hoovered her food up and dd has taken her for a walk.

It's the happiest I've seen DH for ages - he has depression, and I can tell already she will be good for him (he had retrievers as a kid)

starjumper Sun 20-Mar-16 19:48:13

Brilliant. Dogs are just awesome aren't they?

2plus1 Sun 20-Mar-16 21:20:04

So pleased to hear this. Enjoy the companionship.

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