Human companionship is more important to them than even the company of other dogs; they know you can provide the care for them that they need. They are creatures of great kindness and character, and you would benefit from emulating their sense of compassion and forgiveness, their ability to live in the moment and to offer the unconditional love they have always shown to you. When they become senior dogs, we need to return to them all that they have given to us through the years. Remember, they still love and enjoy life even when they don’t feel as they used to. Dogs live in the moment and enjoy and relish it all.
Dogs age much faster than people, and their life spans depend greatly upon their size. A year does not seem like a long time, but is equivalent to four to five human years. In general, the larger the breed or size of the dog, the shorter the life span. Smaller dogs generally become senior around the age of 10-12 and the largest breeds around 6-7. Dogs are considered senior in the last 25% of their lives. Those are the years they start slowing down, becoming less active and sleeping more. These changes often come with age, but they also can be signs of conditions that might benefit from treatment. Senior dogs can suffer from some of the same disorders people get.
Excerpt from the book Your Dog’s Golden Years
Jennifer Kachnic, CCMT, CRP