When my Australian Cattle Canine combine, Sweet, first got here to dwell with me, she was 6 years outdated. I’d adopted her from a neighborhood animal shelter the place, three weeks prior, her household had surrendered
her as a result of they have been transferring.
Six years of age is a troublesome time for a canine to need to make an enormous life change. By the age of 6, most canine have reached center age. For some bigger canine, 6 is the start of the senior years. Canine this age are set of their methods and have developed a powerful bond with their household. Sweet was no exception. After we introduced her house, she spent a number of months in a depressed state, sleeping in a nook of the yard, distant from the goings-on of the family.
It’s not shocking that it took Sweet about six months to regulate to her new life. On the age of 6, she was effectively into her maturity. Her day by day routine and the folks she lived with since puppyhood had supplied her with the protection and safety she wanted. Having all that torn away from her midway by way of her life was traumatic.
However 6-year-old canine usually are not outdated — they’re merely mature. With slightly little bit of endurance and love, Sweet adjusted to her new life and have become a contented woman. Nonetheless younger sufficient to play, hike, go to the seashore and attend coaching courses, she was additionally a terrific surrogate mother to our new pet.
Managing center age
What are you able to do to verify your canine stays pleased and wholesome throughout this stage of her life? Loads! Six is a good age, and you are able to do loads along with your canine.
Enjoyable outings. Take her on walks, hikes, tenting journeys — anywhere you possibly can go that enables canine. The extra train and exercise you possibly can present your canine at this age, the longer she is going to keep wholesome and alert.
Extra coaching. Six-year-old canine is likely to be middle-aged, however they’re nonetheless able to studying — loads. In case your canine doesn’t have fundamental obedience coaching, take her to a category. It is not going to solely make her a greater companion, it is going to additionally present her with psychological stimulation. In case your canine is already a champ with regards to the fundamentals, take into consideration taking over a enjoyable canine sport, like agility or rally. At 6 years outdated, your canine has a greater consideration span than she did as a pet and can catch on rapidly.
Playtime. Does your canine nonetheless prefer to play? By the age of 6, many canine nonetheless like to chase balls, gnaw on bully sticks and chomp on squeaky toys. Many nonetheless additionally get pleasure from enjoying with different canine. Take your canine on a purchasing journey to a neighborhood pet provide retailer and let her pick some new toys. If she enjoys romping with different canine, make playdates with your pals’ canine, or enroll her in doggie day care. Right here she will spend a whole day enjoying with fastidiously screened canine, all whereas below supervision. Even simply someday per week at doggie day care can carry a lot of enjoyable and stimulation into your canine’s life.
Cozy mattress. Now that your canine has hit center age, add some objects to assist her keep pleased and comfy. An orthopedic mattress is an effective begin. Designed to make it simpler in your canine’s joints, orthopedic beds present extra cushion than an ordinary mattress. Whereas your canine could not but be arthritic, an orthopedic mattress can assist hold her snug as her joints age.
Dietary dietary supplements. Your middle-aged canine may profit from some dietary dietary supplements at this level in her life. Omega-Three oils for canine can assist her coat keep wholesome, whereas a joint complement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM can assist her joints keep wholesome longer.
Common exams. Should you haven’t been doing it already, begin taking your 6-year-old canine for annual well being checks. Yearly blood work and a veterinary examination can assist you get a soar on any potential well being points that could be creating. As canine age, they’re extra vulnerable to kidney illness, joint issues and different maladies.
Being a pet father or mother to a 6-year-old canine is usually a actual pleasure. Properly previous the pet years however nonetheless younger sufficient to play and be taught, middle-aged canine make wonderful companions.
Concerning the creator:
An award-winning author and editor, Audrey Pavia is a former managing editor at Canine Fancy journal and former senior editor of The AKC Gazette. She is the creator of The Labrador Retriever Handbook (Barrons) and has written extensively on horses in addition to different pets. She shares her house in Norco, California, with two rescue canine, Sweet and Mookie.