Spice of Life

Can you teach an old dog a new diet

Brenda tries to manage her old dog’s weight along with her own

It’s a dog’s life! I say that since I just fed my old dog Shea. It is hard to say how old she is but she came here in 2012. At that time a vet told me she was 10 or 11 years old. I had been saying she was 16 years old. Got that wrong. Still, that is a very old dog.

How does she manage?

She is slowing down, which sort of matches my pace. The problem both of us have is a weight issue.

Mine is self-inflicted hers is inflicted by me and those who like to give her treats.

The extra weight affects her hips and mine.

What to do?

A bit more control with her diet.

I have been told by a vet that it is hippy food she eats. The dog probably weighs 80 pounds or so. She gets 1/2 cup of dry food twice a day. It is a Canadiana variety. The flavour is sweet potato and salmon. She will also get pure pumpkin mixed in. It is all topped off with a boiled egg. I buy the dry food at Smithers Feed Store.

Her dinner is 1/2 cup of dry food, canned meat or lightly cooked hamburger. She gets omega-three capsules. From time to time she will have a couple of sardines, a dash of olive oil and more pumpkin.

She would also like a couple slices of sweet potato I had cooked in the oven.

I would not just forge ahead and feed your dog the same thing.

Check with your vet first. If you feed pure canned pumpkin, don’t give too much. It will give them the poops.

I tell you all this because I hear from many of you about your dog that has died from cancer.

I don’t think this food would stop cancer, but it might help an older dog do just a bit better.

Since Shea is now on her own with just me and the old cat as companions I do sit with her while she eats. She gets a massage every day. That is a good time to check for ticks etc.

Now is the time for spear weeds. Check for those as well.

She sports a very healthy thick coat. She never has dirty teeth or ears.

What is her breed? I have no idea. She is one of the Telkwa 17 rescued by Northwest Animal Shelter many years ago. It has been my great honour to have this dog.

I tell you all this knowing many would not like to do the work of feeding a dog a different diet. It could be the wrong thing but make sure you check with your vet. Cut back on treats and go for another walk.

On that note, we will do that. The cat will come along as we walk my trails.

How long can an old dog like Shea live?

She just might wonder the same thing about me.

Again I must remind you to check with your vet about any change in your dog’s diet.

Any questions?

Call 250-846-5095 or email mallory@bulkley.net.

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