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When I first met my husband, he came with a bonus partner. A 6 month old black lab/german shepherd puppy that he named Cletus. I’ve never really identified as a dog person, but this little googly-eyed big-headed fur ball that loved to “help” load the dishwasher kind of stole my heart.
Not long after we started dating, I moved in, but that’s a story for another day. I was in a new state and didn’t have a job or any friends, and no kids yet, so Cletus was the only person I hung out with while my now husband was working. Most of the time he was busy chewing up everything I owned, so I tried to be proactive and keep him more occupied. I started to teach him simple tricks like sit, lay down, heel, paw, and even got him to walk right next to me without a leash without running off. I was a dog person.
Fast forward to almost 11 years and four kids later, and Cletus is still around. These days it seems like he’s more interested in laying in his dog bed than anything else, but every now and then I catch a glimpse of puppy coming out. Our old guy still loves to play, but he can get overwhelmed or confused pretty easy.
I’ll admit I didn’t realize that you’re supposed to change your dog’s food as they reach their senior years. According to research by dog food experts at Purina Pro Plan, that senior age is around age seven, where dogs begin to have trouble with memory, awareness, and decision-making. This is due to a change in the glucose metabolism of the dog’s brain. Out of an estimated 87 million dogs in the US, approximately 44 percent of them are considered senior dogs.
Keeping your senior dog active is just as important as keeping any dog, or yourself, active! That means designating time to play or go for walks, and spending time outdoors on the weekends. You also need to help keep their brain active, which is easily done by practicing their commands daily, and helping boost brain activity with Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food from PetSmart. It contains enhanced botanical oils that when added to the daily diet of dogs ages seven and older, have shown promoted memory, attention and trainability.
We made the switch about three weeks ago and have already seen a little bit of a change. Our old dog has a new pep in his step when he’s performing his old tricks! He is more eager to respond to commands, and his reaction time when playing fetch has definitely improved. We always take him out exploring with us and he still enjoys frolicking at the beach or hiking with the family just as much as he always did. If it wasn’t for that chin full of gray hair, you might not even know he’s a senior dog!
Check out our sweet old boy in action with some help from our GoPro camera!