Have you ever asked that question, when your pet is getting really old?
Maybe you haven’t ever said it out loud, but I bet you’ve thought it more than once.
I’ve seen people obsess over that question.
I’ve seen it taint months of their lives with unnecessary fear and worry.
I’ve seen the question lurking in my friends eyes as they visit my 20 year old dog Sally.
I’ve had it come unbidden into my own mind and even bring a tear to my eye if I let it.
How do you face that question?
Whether it’s a fleeting occasional thought or a very regular one, here’s what to do when that question arises.
Ask a different question!
Actually, ask several.
1. How can you enjoy the time you have left with your sweet pet?
What activities do they still enjoy?
Check you are making time to do them.
It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to snuggle up together in a favourite spot, or giving them an extra tickle behind the ears.
It could be going to a favourite place that they like to visit.
It could be taking the time to appreciate how they are still happy and notice when they still ‘act young at heart’ (I have an exercise for that I share in a challenge / course at the bottom of this post).
2. How can you best support them at this time?
As well as heeding veterinary advice, what practical steps can you take to keep them happy and comfortable?
As I share in this week’s video, my sweet Sally, who is now 20 years young, doesn’t jump up on furniture anymore, so as well as lifting her up to the sofa (she loves sitting on sofas) I also adapted my bed so it wasn’t upstairs and she could access it from the floor. She’s slept on the bed from day one and so I’ve arranged it so this doesn’t have to change and I can still wake up to see her happy smiling face every morning.
Now Sally is small enough to lift onto furniture, but for larger dogs, hoists or ramps can be used to great effect, even stair lifts have been used for dogs (have a look on YouTube if you don’t believe me).
Extra padding can be added to beds for pets.
Elderly cats may need a little help with grooming and some like a grooming glove. I know my Leo cat appreciated the extra grooming when he got old.
There are also many complementary approaches to enhance their health (and I share my favourite in the challenge / course at the bottom of this post).
3. How can you and them have the most fun together while they’re still here? (yes, elderly pets still have a great capacity for having fun)
When people’s pets get old their human guardians can worry about over exerting their pets and sense they need to rest more.
Whilst elderly pets can require more rest, as my Sally does now, she still loves to be active. Walks are at a slower pace, but she still enjoys a good ‘sniff and stroll’.
Also, when pets are kept active – with games and activity toys (such as ones that need to be moved around to release treats) it helps them to stay cognitively healthy.
My hope is that the questions I have hared today will not only give you good ideas that you can put into practice but also that they will bring you back to the present moment, to the here and now, rather than encouraging your mind to wander to the uncertainty of the future.
It’s how you use that time, even if you don’t know exactly how long that will be, that makes the biggest difference.
While they are with you, be present and be their advocate as best you can.
As I say in this week’s video, it isn’t always easy, there are many challenges to face but there are ways to help make this an easier time for both you and your pets.
Here are some more ways to help your elderly pets.
I have put together a selection of exercises to help both pet and guardian navigate their pet’s Golden years. I have called it ‘The Golden Oldie Pet Love Challenge’.
It’s really a full online course, where I show you energy and mindset techniques over 5 days, via video and pdfs where I demonstrate techniques to help your pets as they age including
– a technique to help boost their energy
– a method to help you tune into their needs
– a chart to help monitor their quality of life
– a technique to help you deal with the emotional impact of their ageing
– a way to support them in more depth as they deal with specific health conditions
The challenge is free. I want everyone to be able to help their Golden Oldies to thrive.
Click here or on the image below to get access to it and get started with the exercises right now
The course can be started at any time.
I will also be running it live (via email and Facebook) for 5 days from Monday 21st August to Friday 25th August 2017.
Will you join us?
Your Golden Oldies will reap the benefits when you do.