Nov 12 2019

Adopting a Senior Dog: A Series, Part Three, Emotional Support

The most important benefit that of adopting my senior dog Berta is the emotional support I receive from her daily. Berta has been my truest friend in this process of healing. Two years ago my mother passed away unexpectedly, my father passed a year before, and my brother a year before that. It was a very traumatic time and I struggled to handle the tide of feelings that stemmed from it. I still do. Berta has been my truest friend and an incredible emotional support in this process of healing.

About a year ago I decided to go the shelter. I truly had no intention of adopting, but then I saw Berta. Berta caught my attention with her calm demeanor. She was a dose of serotonin from the beginning. I did not know then that she was going to be the root for most of my happiness. It’s amazing how dogs can really feel how you are feeling without words. For example, Berta always senses my anxiety attacks before they occur. She consoles me through these rough spurs of emotions. A lot of things trigger me; it could be as simple as a song or a scene from a movie. Luckily, I have Berta right next to always eager to calm my tears. Dogs are not like humans, they are much more complex. They are our greatest friends and companions. To say I needed Berta would be incorrect, because in all actuality we needed each other. Berta has gone through many rough patches as well and our identities just fit. I could not imagine my life now without her love and friendship.

The aspect I value most about Berta is the solitude and comfort she brings to our home. She sleeps next to me every night and has calmed many unsettling dreams. Walking in the door after a long day is not as bad when Berta is happily waiting for you. The motivation to wake up and go out of the house is easier with Berta in the passenger seat. I feel much less anxiety with the support I receive from Berta on a daily basis. She is a safe haven to me. There are no bad days with Berta. The idea of struggling through mental roadblocks is not even a question when I am reassured with the companionship of Berta.

If you struggle with any emotional healing my suggestion is considering adopting a furry friend. Mine has been the greatest blessing this past year.

Before taking this leap please consider:

  1. Dogs do change your lifestyle. They require a lot of attention and love. Make sure you find a dog that fits the way you live.
  2. Not all dogs are emotionally supportive.
  3. Don’t just adopt the first dog you see. Look around the shelter and meet the dog.
  4. Shelter dogs have their own stories and it may take sometime for them to open up to you.

If you have a dog that brings a lot of love and joy to your home be sure to share this blog with them too!

By: Emme Moorehouse


Nov 6 2019

Adopting a Senior Dog: A Series, Part Two, Tips & Tricks

November is adopt a senior pet month. As an owner of a senior pet, I wanted to share a few personal tricks, discoveries, and tips for senior dogs!

  • Senior dogs already have their own sense of being and to some people that can be off putting, but don’t let this scare you.

This aspect of their personalities only makes senior dogs more interesting! Puppies can be molded, but senior dogs tend to fit the puzzle they have already created. They know what they like, such as toys, food, and sleeping spots. I believe this makes it easier to understand them.  Sometimes they might change it up a bit, but most of the time they tend to stay on the same track. For example, Berta has a problem with others dogs and that still hasn’t changed. It’s just the way she is, but those aspects of her personality manageable and make them super unique!

  • Senior dogs tend to like softer snacks, food, and toys.

Their teeth are sometimes sensitive and as owners we need to be aware of these things. For example, I mix dry and wet food for Berta, and she loves it! I tend to not give Berta bones because they degrade her teeth (which are already very rigged), but we do give her a lot of Blue Buffalo products! I also put peanut butter in her Kong chew toy and freeze it — it gives her something to do and she absolutely loves it! Senior dogs also love their sleep and down time!

  • Senior dogs also love their sleep and down time.

They also love to just hang out and be involved. Don’t get me wrong senior dogs enjoy a walk now and then, but they also crave their rest. Don’t let this be a negative – this just means they have less of a reason to get into things! They don’t have tons of energy like puppies, so their crimes of passion are rare. Berta is perfect at home by herself and she spends her time relaxing. When she wants to release some energy she makes it very clear with a few jumps and scratches at the door. Another positive is that they are less likely to pull on a leash! Take this as a reason to cuddle and give them extra affection! Down time = attention time!

  • Trips out and car rides are great for senior dogs.

Even though they are “senior” dogs they still enjoy releasing energy and going places. Berta really loves trips to Starbucks for a pup cup We also take her on light walks and my advice is to pay attention to activity levels. Do not overwork them! It is also important to pay attention to younger children in the home as rough housing can lead to injuries.

These are just a few tricks and tips that worked for me. Do you have tips to share? Post them on our Facebook page and don’t forget a furry photo!

By: Emme Moorehouse


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