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5 Lessons I Learned About Aging from My Senior Dog

5 Lessons I Learned About Aging from My Senior Dog

I’ve been noticing some subtle behavior changes in my 11-year-old Lab, Sanchez, as he matures. He definitely is more set in his ways and seems to have a different agenda in his senior years. Every time I look at him, I’m aware that every day is a gift.

While I’m in my middle-age years and he is in his senior years, he is teaching me some important life lessons about aging:

1. Eat Your Greens

While I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years, my diet keeps getting healthier and cleaner as I age. On days when it isn’t, my body notices instantly and I pay the price. I’m eating four times the amount of vegetables I did in my early vegetarian years, and now it’s all organic. While Sanchez eats a healthy diet due to my choices, he still loves eating green grass every chance he gets.

Related: Woman Eats Dog Food for 30 Days. You’ll Want to Know Why

2. Remember to Meditate

Just like eating healthy, I’ve known the importance of meditation since I was in my mid-20s. And days that I’m too busy or forget, I feel rushed, off-center, and imbalanced. Sanchez starts every morning with a good stretch and meditation.

3. Spend Plenty of Time Outdoors Enjoying the View

One of his favorite senior activities is just laying on his outdoor dog bed on the deck and enjoying the view and smells. I work from home and can easily spend too many hours at my desk. His desire to go outside on the back deck is a good reminder for me to take breaks and join him out there.

Related: 5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog in 33 Seconds

4. Relieve Your Bladder Frequently

I drink a lot more water than I did in my youth, so visiting the restroom frequently is a fact of life. I’m no longer embarrassed by it, as I’m aware how healthy it is to drink half of my body weight in ounces of water daily. As for Sanchez… well, did I mention that he’s a male dog?

5. Hug Your Loved Ones

Sanchez isn’t the most physically affectionate dog in the world. Sometimes he shows his affection in subtle ways, but a little affection goes a long way. I’m much more physically demonstrative, yet I’ve begun to appreciate that hugs can be expressed in many ways.

Related: Want More Affection From Fido? There’s a Drug for That

Have you learned lessons from your senior dogs? Thanks for sharing them in a comment below.

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Health, Healthy Aging, Humor & Inspiration, Pet Health, Pets, , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


+ add your own
10:21AM PDT on Aug 4, 2014

Funny article with more than an ounce of truth...TY

8:02PM PDT on Aug 3, 2014

I am going on my 3rd elder German Shepherd (14+ yrs) plus many elders before. What it teaches you is that time is precious and short. Enjoy what you can with them because they are taken way too soon. And if that decision is forced to the person, it is hell. Hope for them to go in their sleep having a good dream. In addition you learn: Accidents on the carpet? Not so important. Did she hear that? Hand signals very important. Patience - mandatory. A big one... don't take life too serious - know how to relax and nap hard. Plenty of pictures. I am sure there are more lessons I have learned but they escape me now.

The older my dog gets, the better I become.

8:32PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

we all get older and ways that were once set in stone, well-we find said stone chipping away and habits start to change a bit here and there along the way as well.

10:31AM PDT on Jul 23, 2014


12:57PM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

One thing I've learned from my 16 year old dog. If you don't feel like going out in cold, rainy, miserable weather, don't. It's not a sin to stay inside and relax by the fire.

6:29AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Dogs can have similar behavior than humans. They can be really happy and content and want to share it. They can also be grumpy and want to be left alone (just like me), then again they feel down or in pain and really want some sympathy and love. Our latest dog, a Rottweiler has his moods. I learned from our previous dogs how to work out our Rotti. When he is happy and playful, green light, when he feels down or has hip pain, caution and I'll be nice, calm and supportive with him. Amber light. Sometimes he gets really grumpy for no reason, red light and he tells me, I am the boss, I am a Rotti.

3:38AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

3:06AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014


1:49AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thank you to all who love the animals and the planet, and who already signed the petition to protect horses from Pétropolis, if no, please help give an happy end to the sad story of those enslaved animals, and share these petitions :
1) Care 2

Thank you for sharing

11:12PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

Thank you

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