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So what is 'old' for dog?

(20 Posts)
Sooverthemill Sun 21-Jul-19 16:54:39

No experience of old dogs ( was away at university when my family dog died) and our former dog was put to sleep at 5 and a half because of aggressive cancer. Our current old boy is nearly 11 ( we also have a 14 month old). He is definitely slowing down and often I realise he hasn't got through the door after me so is patiently waiting outside , he's slow to get up and sit down and possibly a bit hard of hearing. He doesn't always eat his dinners and is on maintenance meds for arthritis. This makes him sound very old and sad but I think he still has a good quality of life, enjoys his walks and is very clear when he wants to be left alone to snooze. He's fairly often ( maybe 2 times a week) sick overnight, just bile and he gets a bit shirty with the youngster from time to time when he is a bit full on. I love him to bits as do we all. The vet said he would be surprised if he got to 11 ( this was 18 months ago).

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BiteyShark Sun 21-Jul-19 17:01:28

No expert but I thought it depends on breed as to their average life expectancy plus I have read getting 'new' insurance is very hard after the age of 8 which makes me think that the likelihood of 'older' age conditions and illnesses must peak at that age and beyond.

For my breed the average life expectancy is 12-14 years (cocker spaniel).

Sooverthemill Sun 21-Jul-19 17:06:15

He's a labradoodle. So large breed. The insurance is now about £800 a year. I think labs can be 10-14 and standard poodles 12-14. He's just so definitely slowing down.

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Yellowweatherwarning Sun 21-Jul-19 17:11:21

We have a rottweiler, She is 10 in September. She had surgery for a mammary tumour (cancerous) in April. She shows no signs of slowing down. She has had no other vet's treatment ever. Only ageing signs are a grey chin!

PixieLumos Sun 21-Jul-19 17:13:01

Depends on the dog, OP. A Great Dane often doesn’t live past 8 or 9 years, whereas a little Yorkshire Terrier can comfortably reach 16. My PILs dog passed away just recently and was nearly 18 (collie cross) which is quite unusual, but was quite poorly for about 2 years and I think they should have put him down earlier (easier said than done of course, it’s a tough decision). I would say most dogs slow down a bit after the age of 10, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some good years left ahead. What dog do you have? From what you have said it does sound though like you’re dog is struggling with some age related illnesses.

BrigitsBigKnickers Sun 21-Jul-19 17:15:34

We have always had Shetland sheep dogs and as they are a smallish breed tend to live longer. Current one is 12, one before was 16. My parents have the same breed and except for one who got lung worm they have all been between 16 and 18 when they popped their clogs.

BookWitch Sun 21-Jul-19 17:16:11

My retriever is a rescue so her age is an estimate by the vet.
She's about 12-13 and definitely slowing , no longer that interested in walkies, but does enjoy life- sits on the patio in the sun, barks at the telly, loves her humans and tummy rubs etc

Bookworm4 Sun 21-Jul-19 17:16:18

They are all different and sounds as if he’s like any of us as we age; stiff, slow, irritable.
I would train your child that full on with the dog isn’t acceptable and to leave the dog alone, it’s not fair to expect a pet to tolerate kids getting in their face.

bodgeitandscarper Sun 21-Jul-19 17:21:45

Older dogs often vomit bile if their stomachs are empty for a while. Feeding at more regular intervals can help prevent it. A couple of biscuits before bed might be an idea.

Sooverthemill Sun 21-Jul-19 17:34:39

bookworm it's a young dog not a child ( sorry I was unclear)
bodgeit he always has 2 biscuits at bedtime, it's his signal to curl up and sleep. He now has omeprazole to try to sort out his tummy in case it's the pain/anti inflammatory meds upsetting him. He loves us all and it's sad that sometimes he can't make it upstairs easily ( our sitting room is in first floor) so often we stay in kitchen with him rather than go up to watch tv. I do t want to be prolonging his life for our sake but I think he's generally happy. He sings when one of us gets home! So lovely to have him greeting us.

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Bookworm4 Sun 21-Jul-19 17:36:16

Haha I assumed a wee child 🤣
The older dog will teach him boundaries and he’ll be the better for it but do give both one to one time.

Bookworm4 Sun 21-Jul-19 17:37:29

You can use a sling/scarf round his middle to support him up the stairs so he can enjoy the sofa.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 21-Jul-19 17:50:09

If you want to check up on the life expectancy of any particular breed, there are some very useful stats available here

ohdearwhatcouldtheproblembe Sun 21-Jul-19 17:52:12

Same as PP who said sickness can be due to empty stomach.
We used to have to feed our old dog half his dinner at 5pm and the other half at 9pm otherwise he would be sick. It worked wonders. Maybe 2 biscuits aren’t quite enough.

Sooverthemill Sun 21-Jul-19 17:57:29

We got the younger one because we had a major health incident 18 months ago that we feared meant we had to put o,Dre one to sleep. Thankfully he recovered but it made us realise how empty our home would be without him. The vet suggested a puppy would be good for older dog and for us as a family.

We did feed later previously but changed the time to fit in with a sitter when I had to live in hospital with youngest child for 6 months, and never changed back, maybe we could try that.

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labazsisgoingmad Sun 21-Jul-19 18:07:32

i have a JRT who is 15. she still enjoys a sunday walk around a boot sale, her food and life in general but she is slowing down. her eye sight is not good and we know now her hearing is not as good; to attract her attention we have learnt to clap our hands just shouting her name does not always work. i love her dearly and have had since 6 wks old. she is my last link with my darling father, she has seen me through bereavements divorce a very bad attack by my ex which ended up in court not to mention 6 grandchildren and many house moves due to circumstances. she survived kennel cough which was so bad it nearly killed her and has never done anything but be totally loyal and loving. i am aware every day is a bonus and my heart breaks at the thought of life without her

Sooverthemill Sun 21-Jul-19 18:17:14

labaz similar story with us. Had him since 8 weeks and seen me through cancer and death of FIL and my father. And the serious illness of DD ( hospital allowed dog to visit!). I cannot imagine our lives without him, but we said that about our most beloved former dog who died far too young age 5. I held him when he was put to sleep. I will do that for my old boy too. He is just my bedrock far more than my DH who I think knows that!

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SecretNutellaFix Sun 21-Jul-19 18:42:39

I had a Border Collie and she died of cancer aged 12. She wasn't old in her ways though- she would dash around as much as she could, would dig in the sofa for her ball, would throw teddy bears around everywhere until her last weeks when the tumour was getting big and painful. 12 was considered average for her breed.

Bigger breeds tend to "age" faster than smaller ones I think. Some of the biggest breeds have an average lifespan of just 9 years, and smaller ones about 15.

Jupiter13 Sun 21-Jul-19 18:42:43

Mines about 40..that's not too old..

Girlintheframe Mon 22-Jul-19 04:23:44

Our beautiful lab died at 11. He still thought he was a puppy most of the time but I saw a difference in him from around age 8. Very subtle difference to being with but as the years wore on it became more apparent.
It wasn't so much that he wouldn't walk far but more the effects of walking too far the next day. He would often be stiff. He definitely 'mellowed' from age 8 onwards. Still miss that boy

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