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Where have all the old dogs gone?

The other day I was driving along listening to the radio and a song came on that I haven’t heard for many many years-it was “Where have all the Cowboys gone?” as I listened to it my brain switched it to “Where Have all the Old dogs gone?”


I was surprised that my subconscious has bought something up that I had obviously been mulling over for some time

With all the preoccupation on pandemic puppies and younger dogs and how so many people are making a huge mess of it all-leaving young dogs to carry on their lives in kennels it seems older dogs have taken a back seat


My dogs are getting older and certainly I look anxiously at them most days for signs that they may not be as comfortable as they were in their younger years but as I go out and about it is young dogs that are predominant. While they are young people are often taking on the garbage that surrounds young dogs about making sure they get tons of exercise -no matter what it is-and there is a dog that lives just up the road who I used to see over the lockdowns. I used to see him charging around and catching a ball and pulling on a lead and I did several times have friendly conversations about harnesses-which quite frankly I gave up doing because it was pointless


So where is he now? That dog has recently had a replacement hip and has spent months walking on a harness (!) which initially supported his weight as he learnt to walk again-after that time guess what he is back on a collar but they have to take things very slowly because his hip although healed is obviously still weak


If this is what is going on is it surprising that there are no older dogs-are people so blind that they continue to throw balls and encourage fast exercise without first going through some warming up and cooling down I am pretty sure arthritis in dogs has reached the point where it has become an epidemic the ball chuckers rule

Canine Arthritis Management states that

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs. It affects 80% of dogs over the age of 8 years old, and potentially up to 35% of dogs of all ages. It is considered a welfare concern in companion animals such as dogs, especially if left untreated.

Those figures are not made up! They are real figures.


Many people do take their dogs to the vet when they feel they are in pain but it goes diagnosed. Pain can proliferate but is not always able to be diagnosed -the nociceptors are alerted way before damage can be detected and according to CAM by the time OA is diagnosed it is too late for many dogs


Is this why on my wanderings I see so few truly old dogs?

Please do think before encouraging your dog to chase balls it is a destructive obsession


If you would like some ideas to enrich your dogs life and help enrich walks which will exercise your dog without putting pressure on joints and help with suppleness and mobility I have a pdf which I can send you just email pennie@horseandhoundschool.co.uk or book a session at Crabtree


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