Senior Dog Blog

Happy Tails March by Dog Quality

27 March, 2015

This month saw some very special Happy Tails from the young to the more mature. You can just feel the joy coming from these wonderful dogs. Meet Josh, the miracle dog, as well as Jak and Kismet putting their Washable Wonders to great use. See the difference our Grippers socks are making for Abby and Ceilidh, as well as the adventures that Chevy and our dynamic duos, Danny & Chloe, Taz & Jackson and Heidi & Archie are enjoying with their Dogger.


Washable Wonders Belly Bandsclick to zoom

Josh was found in a dumpster with a broken back caused by blunt force trauma, but thanks to the amazing work of Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue and Bialy's Wellness Foundation he is getting the love and care he deserves and as you can see, he's incredibly happy. Josh is doing very well with his rehab and we are overjoyed knowing our diapers and belly bands have helped make life a bit easier.


Dogger dog strollerclick to zoom

This is Chevy. He had a stroke 4 years ago and drags one of his hind legs, but his awesome parents walk him four times a day and then he gets a ride back home in his Dogger.


Grippers dog socksclick to zoom

Thanks to her new Grippers, Abby (11yrs) can finally get to her feet when she lays on the kitchen floor. Abby blew out both ACLs at some point in her life and the Grippers make it easier for her to get around on slippery surfaces.


Washable Wonders Belly Bandsclick to zoom

Meet adorable Jak (10 yrs) trying his new belly band out for the first time. Jak is having some accidents so the belly band is giving both Jak and his parents peace of mind.


Grippers dog socksclick to zoom

Beautiful Ceilidh (12 yrs) no longer has to worry about those slippery floors thanks to her Grippers dog socks.

Molly & Joey

Dogger dog strollerclick to zoom

Molly and Joey are having a blast in their Dogger.

Danny & Chloe

Dogger dog strollerclick to zoom

This is Danny and Chloe enjoying their ride at Windsor UK today.They love it!

Taz & Jackson

Dogger dog strollerclick to zoom

Taz and Jackson enjoying the Key West Sunset from the comfort of their dogger.


Washable Wonders Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Kismet modeling her new diaper to prepare for when she goes into her first heat cycle. As any puppy will do, Kismet was full of emotion when she first tried them on, but quickly realized that she looked great!

Heidi & Archie

Dogger dog strollerclick to zoom

Heidi and Archie test out their new Dogger and give it two paws up!

5 Ways to Help Your Senior Dog Feel Young by Ann-Marie Fleming

25 March, 2015

Dogs do a much better job than us humans at rolling with the punches that life gives them, including the challenges that come with their golden years. It is this amazing attitude that gives us a way of helping them to stay young even longer. Far too often we as pet parents stop doing the things our dogs gain energy from as we try and accommodate this stage of their lives. Yes we do need to make changes, but we do not need to simply stop doing - we just need to do things differently.

Keep your senior dog young

Here are 5 ways to help your senior dog feel young:
  1. Regular Exercise - it is very common for a parent of a senior dog to reduce and often eliminate daily exercise from their routine due to mobility issues or other age related conditions. Unfortunately by doing this you can often make their physical ailments worse. Helping your dog stay active not only gives them a big lift mentally, but it can often slow the effects of aging. Even the most arthritic dogs need to keep moving and while you definitely don't want to overdo it, you can still find a balance. This is one of the reasons that I love dog strollers and dog wheelchairs so much because they help get your older dog outside and moving around, but in a way that caters to their needs. Another great way to help them continue to exercise is through hydrotherapy. Movement in water is much easier for their joints, but can still give them the activity they need. 
  2. Create a Purpose - Just as humans, our dogs love to feel like they have a purpose - to feel needed, to feel like they are contributing to something beyond themselves, to have a routine that they can look forward to. This can take many forms such as being a therapy dog (officially or unofficially) bringing happiness to others who may not have their own dog; being involved in raising awareness like many dogs we see through social media who travel around and act as examples for others to learn from; teaching children about the joys a dog can bring or even going to work. In my case my dogs are with me every day at work since it is a full-time commitment for them being the super models (and possibly the brains) behind our Dog Quality products starring in videos and participating in photo shoots ☺ 
  3. Never Stop Playing - your dog may have slowed down, but the more you encourage play, the more they will retain their inner puppy. I can always find a way to encourage, even if only in short bursts, some form of play whether it's with a toy or even my hand. You may need to get creative, for example a dog dance party often does the trick ☺ and you may need to increase your own energy to get them going, but they will respond. The other important benefit to this is the positive energy you give off when you enter play mode. Our dogs are incredibly perceptive and feed off of our energy. If we look at them and see them as old, or feel sad for the changes they are going through, they pick up on this and if they feel that from you, how can it not impact how they feel about themselves? The younger you make them feel through your actions and attitude, the younger they themselves will feel.
  4. Massage - if you have ever had a massage yourself then you know how amazing it can make you feel. The same can happen for your dog. Last month I wrote about simple massage techniques you can do at home in my post titled: Massaging your Senior Dog to Better Health which can go a long way in improving your dog's mobility by loosening up their muscles, increasing circulation and helping them feel happy and relaxed. Spending time massaging your dog is also an incredible bonding experience that should be a part of everyone's routine.
  5. Keep them Lean - the most important way to help your senior dog feel young is to ensure they stay lean. There is a serious obesity issue with pets today with more than 52% of dogs in the United States considered to be overweight. And sadly a large portion of these dogs are in their senior years. With their reduced activity levels it is often easier for them to start gaining weight, but by finding ways to keep them active and adapting their diets accordingly, they can stay thin and healthy throughout their golden years. I have seen the transformation with my own dogs when they shed excess weight; their energy increases and they feel the effects of age far less. With so many joint problems plaguing senior dogs, to lighten the weight their joints have to carry makes a huge difference. Their mobility will improve and their pain will decrease. It also reduces the burden on their internal organs when their bodies don't have to work as hard and can help reduce the chance of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and respiratory impairment, among others.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough - shedding those pounds can help give you not only more time with your dog, but more quality time at that. 

The bonus with helping your senior dog feel young is that I bet you feel pretty good yourself in the process. Healthy, happy and active living can do wonders for your dog and for yourself!

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Identifying and Managing Senior Dog Dementia by Ann-Marie Fleming

24 March, 2015

I remember years ago, when I was having my French Bulldog Churchill assessed by a neurologist for rear leg instability, I was asked if he ever stared at walls or became lost in corners. In my ignorance I laughed, not knowing the significance of the question, only to find out afterwards that it was a possible sign of dog dementia, also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). CDS is a neurodegenerative disorder in senior dogs similar to Alzheimer's disease in humans. Behavioral changes that are commonly seen include: disorientation, decreased social interaction, household accidents (fecal and urinary), and changes in the sleep-wake activity cycle.Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

Here are some common signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  • Loss of learnt behaviors -  absence of toilet training or decreased response to known cues
  • Disorientation / confusion - staring at walls or getting lost in corners
  • Increased anxiety - restlessness or agitation, increased dependence on family members, separation anxiety when apart
  • Compulsive behaviors - vocalization for no apparent reason
  • Changes in sleep wake cycles - increased sleep during the day and restlessness at night 

Keep in mind that even if your dog demonstrates one or more of these symptoms it does not guarantee that they have dementia since there are other possible causes, but keeping an eye out for this behavior will certainly help your vet with their diagnosis and increase the success of treatment.

I think it is difficult at times to be able to separate "normal" senior dog behavior from behavior caused by a medical condition because older dogs do change and adapt. In fact at times our seniors can become quite bossy and even a bit neurotic, but seem completely in control and purposeful in their idiosyncrasies. I did this video a while back on Mackenzie and his vocalization. Perhaps he was displaying compulsive behavior or perhaps he just figured out that I would cater to his every wish if he was loud enough ;) Here is the video:

If you are like me then the older your dog becomes, the stronger your relationship is with your vet since you find yourself visiting more and more. As you discuss the changes you are seeing in behavior, your vet will be able to help determine whether your dog is showing signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. As with humans, there is no cure, but the good news is that the signs and symptoms of CDS may be lessened and the progression diminished by use of medications, supplements, pheromones, diet or even mental enrichment. And with the varying degrees of this condition, most dogs continue to live very happy lives.

Here are some steps you can take to help ensure they remain happy and safe:

  • Talk to your vet about food, medication and especially supplements that can help slow down the decline and potentially reduce many of the symptoms. 
  • Keep your dog mentally stimulated. Just because your dog is getting older and may be having some trouble due to CDS, it does not mean that you should stop exercising their mind. Not only will this help to improve their spirit, but it can also help to slow the decline. Some great ways to keep your senior dog stimulated include: taking them for walks in new areas so they see new sights and breathe in new smells, even if this walk is in a dog stroller; hide the treat games or puzzles, even playing with them in different ways will help.
  • Simplify your household to ensure that obstacles are minimized and the layout becomes as straightforward as possible. This will help to keep them safe and calm. Gating off stairs is also a good idea. 
  • Be patient - one of the benefits to having your vet involved is so you can better understand the changes your dog is going through. Household accidents and their loss of learnt behaviors can become frustrating if you do not know the cause. As they change we need to also change to help them to better adapt. Learn to read their cues and react accordingly. You may need to take them outside more often for bathroom breaks, or you may need to rely on a diaper or a belly band to help prevent accidents. You may need to change the location of their water and food to ensure they are finding it without issue. Rather than getting frustrated, get creative!
  • Be careful - a lot of senior dogs with CDS will stand very close to doors and may not move away when you open them. You may find your dog walks closer to your feet than previously so be aware of their proximity as you move around. Also keep an eye out for the interaction with other dogs in your family to ensure that everyone is getting along as they should be. Sometimes with the increased anxiety or confusion there can be reactions that may rub other family dogs in the wrong way so be aware of the body language and give them space from each other when needed.

As our dogs get older they often need us more than any other time in their lives. It's our chance to repay them for doing so much for us over the years, so rather than feeling sad, please look at this time as a new chapter. You can still be happy together, you just need to find new ways to enjoy life. I am sure you will find that your bond with each other grows stronger and even more meaningful than you could ever have imagined. I like the person I have become by having the privilege of caring for my dogs throughout this stage of life and I am sure you will too.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Happy Tails February by Dog Quality

27 February, 2015

February's Happy Tails come to us from all over the globe. Read about Tayla (Australia), Cinder (United States), Wynken (Canada), Lilly, Holly & Stitch (United Kingdom) and Pepper (India). Senior dogs from different corners of the world makes us feel like we are really reaching dogs in need everywhere.

Tayla (Australia)

Grippers dog socksclick to zoom

The "Grippers" have made a great difference to Tayla's ability to get around on our timber floors and we are delighted with our purchase and with your service. We cannot thank you enough for all your help and we look forward to an on-going relationship with your company.

Cinder (United States)

Washable Wonders Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Thank you so much. Cinder is very comfortable in her washable wonders.

Wynken (Canada)

Washable Wonders Dog Belly Bandclick to zoom

With your wonderful product Wynken (15 yrs) can go into which ever room he wants just as he has always been able to in the past, not to mention our cuddle time on the bed or on the couch. Sure makes me happy!

Lilly (United Kingdom)

Washable Wonders Dog Nappyclick to zoom

Top notch quality product that stays on too. Very soft, comfortable, size good, pads lovely. We can visit our friends now as with a leaking dog you cannot really take them into other people's homes. Thank you again for a product that actually works.

Holly (United Kingdom)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

Holly wearing her lovely new socks. Our daughter's dog who we treated due to her bilateral surgery for cruciate ligament, socks are so good on laminate flooring!!

Stitch (United Kingdom)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

These socks are making such a difference to my pug Stitch's quality of life. He has been so happy this afternoon, with his new socks on he seems to have more confidence walking around. His back legs have had a substantial amount of pinning and he has been really struggling to walk. I cant believe the difference this has made to his life. Thank you so much!!

Pepper (India)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

The socks have given my dog Pepper a new life. Earlier she was not able to get up since her legs would keep slipping and were losing strength. It took almost half an hour to make her stand up. She was very miserable. We were also wondering how long she could carry on like this. Now with the gripper socks she is up on her feet within seconds and she is able to move around a lot. Her confidence seems to have come back and she feels happy. And we are also relieved and happy.

Massaging your Senior Dog to Better Health by Ann-Marie Fleming

25 February, 2015

Massaging your dog can be an amazing experience for human and dog alike. Not only is it quality time together, but it is also very therapeutic, especially for senior dogs. There is very long list of benefits that can come from canine massage, but here are some that stand out to me as a senior dog parent:

  • Increase flexibility and reduces pain for aging joints
  • Improves circulation
  • Supports the immune system
  • Improves oxygen flow to the brain
  • Flushes waste products from the body
  • Helps to detect medical issues such as swelling, tender areas, lumps, skin conditions etc.
dog massageI am a big fan of massage as an alternative therapy for senior dogs and you will reap the biggest rewards through a canine massage professional, but there are some simple and effective massage techniques that you can use on your older dog at home. These include:

Effleurage: This technique involves long continuous gliding type strokes along your dog's body which can help to induce relaxation. You probably already do this with your dog without realizing it is a massage technique.

Petrissage: With this technique you are lifting and kneading the skin almost like you are kneading dough. It helps to increase blood circulation and elasticity in the tissue. Watch your dog melt in your hands especially as you work the neck area.

Compression: The stationary laying of your hands or fingers with a slight pushing down onto the tissue repeated in different areas across the body. Pressure should come from your body not just your hands and wrists. This technique helps to move fluids in and out of the tissue and lengthens muscle fibers.

Friction: Helps to loosen up joints, tendons and muscles as well as increasing circulation. Applied with your thumb and finger tips or the palm of your hand, usually in a circular motion. 

For senior dogs who often suffer from conditions such as arthritis, massage can help to relieve some of the pain, loosen up their tight muscles and help to slow down the degenerative process.

In an article I read by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, an author and licensed massage therapist titled How to Massage an Arthritic Dog he suggests the following routine for aiding senior dogs with arthritis: 

"Start by lightly stroking the area you are about to massage. Follow with several effleurages – light strokes with very little pressure – to get the circulation going.

Next, use a very light kneading motion (petrissage) over the tight muscles, as well as some very light hand friction to loosen the muscle fibers and stimulate deeper circulation. Intersperse with effleurages regularly – about every 10 seconds – to assist drainage. Do not work directly over the joints afflicted with arthritis, but rather, around them to stimulate circulation."

No more than 10-15 minutes is needed per session.

If you are like me then visuals go a long way. I found this video by the Northwest School of Animal Massage very helpful: 

I hope you will give some of these techniques a try with your senior dog. It will be beneficial on a physical and emotional level to both you and your dog. I for one am going to include massage time as part of my quality time with all my seniors :)

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.


Coping with the Loss of your Dog by Ann-Marie Fleming

23 February, 2015

Grief is something every pet parent goes through. It is the only real downside of sharing our lives with our four-legged family members. I recently had to say goodbye to my sweet girl Paige who lost her battle with Cancer less than 2 weeks ago and I am heart broken. She was her crazy self one minute and then overnight became very ill. After a week in ICU and chemo she rebounded and I was able to bring her home which meant the world to us both. She was doing quite well for a couple weeks, but then her body started to fail and she went downhill very quickly. I am grateful for the extra time we had and that she was able to come home even if it was only for a little while so she could be in the home she loved with the family she adored. I am still trying to get my head around the fact that she's gone and I will be honest it has devastated me. 
Coping with the loss of your dog

I am writing this post to share how I am trying to cope with this heart breaking loss in hopes that maybe it will help others going through something similar. Grief, whether for humans or pets, is a very difficult journey. Experts will tell you that there are 5 stages of grief: 1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Bargaining 4) Depression and 5) Acceptance. Personally I feel like I am going through the first 4 all at once - such a crazy mix of emotions. How could this happen? Why didn't she have any symptoms until it was too late? How can we be happy again?

Even with knowing that there is a process to work through when coping with loss, it doesn't give me a way to move forward so I am trying different things/activities to help me to put one foot in front of the other while I wait for the "time heals all" to kick in.

Here are some of the things I have been trying which seem to be helping me during this difficult time:

  1. Surrounding myself with like-minded people: There is a profound difference between dog-people and non-dog-people and it is never clearer than when you are coping with the loss of your dog because if you have never experienced the deep bond that we often have with our dogs then how can you understand the heart break when they leave us? Being around people that "get it" goes a long way in your recovery. I am fortunate to have an amazing family that knows exactly what I am going through, but I also have an amazing support group on Facebook of dog lovers, many of which have suffered loss themselves. While Paige was sick the encouragement for her flooded in and when she passed away, the words of support were moving. I am very grateful for all the love we have been shown. It has meant to world to me.

  2. Exercise: Do not underestimate the value of being active during this time. Whether it's walking, running or some other form of exercise, there is something comforting that comes from exerting (or exhausting) yourself.

  3. The Art of Distraction: Pouring yourself into something like work or even a hobby to help take your mind off things for a short while can do wonders. I work a lot, but I am fortunate that my work is my own business, Dog Quality. My challenge is that my dogs are such a part of Dog Quality. They help me develop, test and market products. They are my inspiration which makes it especially difficult to find the motivation when they are gone. It is the positive feedback from our customers who let us know how much we are helping to improve the lives of their dogs that keeps me going during these times.

  4. New Experiences: With Paige ingrained in everything I did and everywhere I went, I find it helpful at this stage to try and do different things because being in familiar places reminds me of Paige at a point when these reminders are too painful. So I have been making an effort to take my dogs Milo, Lily and Winnie to new areas for our walks. Paige was super protective of me which made walking in public places very challenging, so we stuck to more private areas. Until I can go back to those places, we have been doing most of our walking closer to town to give us new experiences. I know how precious memories are and I know that I will come to love seeing Paige everywhere, but for now it makes me sad, so trying out new places is helping.

  5. Upbeat music and movies: I am avoiding all sad songs and sad movies trying to go out of my way to listen to upbeat music and watch happy or exciting movies - sci-fi is a great example. I am also trying to create new music playlists. We do a lot of dancing with dogs at my house (don't laugh since I know you do the same) and Paige never missed an opportunity to be silly, so I find that most of the music I have reminds me of these times. Again eventually this will make me smile, but for now it only brings tears, so I have been creating new playlists to get me through this time.

  6. Create a Tribute: The most therapeutic, yet the most difficult thing that I have done is to create a tribute to Paige filled with photos and videos of our incredible time together. I am always taking photos and videos of my dogs to ensure I am capturing special moments in our lives because I know that when they leave, these images become important reminders of the amazing life we had together. I never trust my brain to remember it all - I need these moments in time to keep them close. Creating a tribute is my highlight reel of my life with Paige and it is my way of showing others just how incredible she was and why it is so difficult to be without her. It is how I know she would like to be remembered. It makes me cry every time, but it also makes me smile, laugh and appreciate every second we had together. It becomes a reminder of why we go through the heart break. As empty as I feel right now, I would not trade a second of my life with her even if you told me what would happen. Here is the tribute I made for Paige:

  7. Lean on your other four-legged family: I am fortunate to still have 3 wonderful dogs in my life and they have been a huge part of my healing process. They give me purpose at a time when things don't make sense. I could tell that they were hurting as well and the steps I have been taking have helped them as much as they have helped me. I have also been bombarding them with hugs and kisses and they have responded in kind. I believe they will become closer with each other than ever before and our bond will grow even stronger. 

I am convinced that our dogs take a piece of us when they leave and we are never the same without them, but perhaps this is the point. To be forever changed because of our lives together. I refuse to be the type of person who says I will never have another dog - to do that would be to deny myself the amazing life each of my dogs has shown me. I hope that if you are reading this that you will always keep your heart open even at the risk of it breaking, because it is always worth it.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Happy Tails - December by Dog Quality

23 December, 2014

December was another fantastic month for happy tails from our amazing customers. Words cannot express how much it means to us to know that our products are making such a difference in the lives of senior dogs and their families. Here is a look at December's stars! Athena's search for a diaper that fits finds success giving this old lady the comfort she deserves. Butterball, Fozzy and Buster are finally able to go on walks again while Annie, Penelope and Finnegan find the stability they need on those slippery floors.


Washable Wonders Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Wow!! We have just received the new diapers for my 11 y.o. Boxer Athena and they are amazing!! The other diapers, in order to fit her waist, were way too big around the back part and consequently drooped down between her legs and rubbed the skin... but because of the snaps that can shorted up the distance across the back, these fit her perfectly!!! Thank you so much.


Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Meet sweet Penelope (14 yrs). Her dad John Pollock from Black Mountain, North Carolina, tells us that she can now get up much more easily from the floor thanks to her Grippers dog socks and as a bonus, she is now as quiet as a ninja!


Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Here's a big shout out to Dog Quality. Annie - our 13 year old hunting dog still works hard in the field, but she has a hard time standing on our hardwood floors. These booties work wonders for her. Thank you Dog Quality!


Grippers Dog Socks and Washable Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Finnegan proudly wearing his Grippers dog socks and Washable Wonders male diaper. Looking good!!


Dogger strollerclick to zoom

I received my Dogger a few days ago and put it together in a snap all by myself! That PROVES it's crazy easy! The quality of the parts and wheels just makes me feel so satisfied with my purchase! Plus, it's so darn good-looking! But most importantly, I can now take my little furry guy out for his walks he so desperately wants and NEEDS! He LOVES it! Butterball (9 yrs) is comfy, happy, and secure. Thank you for making such an amazing product that benefits all of our furry friends who need a little help to get around.


Dogger strollerclick to zoom

This stroller is fantastic! It was a snap to assemble, easy to store and a very smooth ride. It is by far the sturdiest dog stroller on the market. The stroller is so handy for those long walks that I love to take around Vancouver, Fozzy still walks for a few kms but then gets tired and is happy to be taken for a ride. We certainly get a lot of attention when we go out and I rave about the stroller! Well done, we love all of your products!

Buster & Tate

Dogger strollerclick to zoom

This is Buster (my 11 year old who cannot use his hind legs and is incontinent and using your belly bands) and my new 7 month old Tate. Buster was so miserable when we would have to leave him behind during our walks with Tate, so we got the Dogger to be able to take him around with us. He is loving it! We are all very impressed with the quality of the Dogger and will be using it a lot to tote the old man around.

Coping with Sight and Hearing Loss in Your Senior Dog by Ann-Marie Fleming

19 December, 2014

Just like with humans, as our dogs get older their sense of sight and hearing often becomes impaired. I experienced this with my own seniors and while each dog ages differently, most will have some impairment to manage during their golden years. To help make this time of life as comfortable and happy as possible I find that it is important to be able to correctly identify the problem(s) in order to understand how best to cope with the challenges that accompany vision and hearing loss. Hearing and Vision Loss in Senior Dogs

Too often people assume that when a senior dog has medical issues that it must be due to their age so one of the first things I recommend if you are seeing signs that they are not seeing as well as they used to, or that they are having trouble hearing, is to visit your vet to rule out an underlying medical cause. Sometimes it is not age at all causing the problems so it's always best to get an expert opinion.

Signs of Hearing Loss: 

I find identifying hearing loss a bit difficult because if you have dogs like mine you are always wondering if it's a problem with their hearing or are they just ignoring me - both are definite possibilities! Right now I am going through this with Milo, my 11 1/2 y/o pug mix. Sometimes it seems obvious that he is not hearing me, but then moments later he will have me second guessing since he will respond immediately to a voice command. He has been to the vet and is very healthy, so I will continue to monitor him and look for signs such as:
  • Being startled when you touch them or when they are sleeping
  • Not reacting to sounds they used to respond to
  • Difficult to wake when sleeping
  • Being much more vocal in their demands
  • Ears that remain still instead of moving around to hear

Signs of Vision Loss:

I find vision loss a little easier to notice and like with hearing, the decline is usually gradual if it is age related. Look for:
  • Tripping or bumping into furniture or walls
  • Disorientation or nervousness especially in new environments
  • Not recognizing you from a distance
  • Not able to catch things the way they used to
  • Change in the look/colour of their eyes

To help make life easier for your vision or hearing impaired dog there are some simple tips that can make a huge difference in keeping them safe, comfortable and happy.

  • Use gates to block off stairs
  • Keep things as much the same as possible
  • Use hand signals (for hearing impaired)
  • Make sure food and water is easily accessible
  • Remove clutter where possible
  • If you do need to take them into new environments always bring something familiar like a toy or a companion
  • Encourage their reliance on other pets in the family

I have had dogs that became completely blind and completely deaf and while it sounds very scary you would be amazed at how well dogs adapt. We all know that dogs are amazing at taking any challenge life throws at them in stride, but aside from their can-do attitudes what should give you comfort is their reliance on their sense of smell. 

A dog's sense of smell is exponentially more important to them than sight or sound as a means of identifying and navigating their environments. It gives me great comfort, and hopefully it will for you as well, knowing that even in blindness and even without being able to hear, they can use their sense of smell to find their way happily through this stage of life.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Happy Tails - November by Dog Quality

13 November, 2014

We love sharing our customer's happy tails :) Here is a look at November's stars! Read about Precious and her road to recovery. Wilbur shows us that even a diaper can look manly. See the brother and sister team of Lucy Lou and Boomer, rugged Oskar, and handsome Raider showing their new found confidence in their Grippers dog socks. Witness Sophie resting up and Tom defying the odds in their Dogger strollers.


Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Precious in her Grippers dog socks. So happy she is on the road to recovery. Here is what her mom, Sylwia Krzywiecka from Mississauga, Ontario, told us: "Precious is 7 yrs old (Shih Tzu Yorkie mix) and she was hit by a car 6 weeks ago this coming Friday. She ran out after a squirrel and that is when she was hit. As a result, her eye was removed as it could not be saved & she had a broken pelvis so she has two screws on each side of her pelvis. Overall she is doing well so I'm really hoping she'll be back to normal soon. Thank you for designing this product. It really works.

Lucy Lou & Boomer

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Lucy Lou (12 yrs) and her brother Boomer (12 yrs) getting their grip again on those slippery floors thanks to their Grippers dog traction socks. Special thanks to their dad Steve Stein for sharing these photos with us.


Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Meet Oskar (11 yrs) putting his Grippers dog socks to great use. His mom Jennifer Ray from Lockport, New York tells us that he can finally drink without his feet sliding!


Dogger Strollerclick to zoom

Tom's mom, Gail McKillop, tells us: "Our gorgeous boy Tom is battling thyroid cancer and currently winning! The fabulous dogger has been an absolute God send he loves it and it means we can take him out with our long legged lurcher Ruby without him getting tired."


Dogger Strollerclick to zoom

Sophie getting a ride home on her Dogger after a brisk 1.5 mile walk. Thank you Hollie Shaner-Mcrae from Burlington, Vermont for this great action shot.


Washable Wonders Male Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Wilbur sporting his new male diapers. Thank you Kate Davis from Irondale, Alabama for sending us this handsome photo.


Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Raider gaining confidence on those hardwood floors one step at a time thanks to his Grippers dog socks. Special thanks to his mom Michelle Pepito from West Islip, New York for sending us this handsome photo!

November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month by Ann-Marie Fleming

13 November, 2014

November is officially adopt-a-senior-pet month and while senior adoptions should be encouraged throughout the year I love having a month dedicated to these sweet seniors helps to raise awareness.  Why do we need a month? Well unfortunately older dogs and cats are often the last to be adopted. Even more heart breaking is the fact that they are there in the first place. I have heard too many sad stories about seniors being dropped off at shelters because their families are not prepared to deal with them during this stage of life. I can't imagine what that must be like for those sweet dogs and cats to have their families abandon them at a time when they need them the most. But this is why it is so important that we help these wonderful pets by giving them a second chance at a happy life, especially when they are in their golden years.

There are many reasons why people shy away from adopting a senior, but the most common argument I hear is that people often feel they won’t get much time with a senior pet or they will have too many health issues leading to vet bills and eventual heart ache.Adopt a Senior Dog

Having senior dogs myself I can honestly tell you that some of my most special moments have been during their golden years. There is something very sweet and very special about an older pet. They know who they are and what they want. They are so appreciative of your love and give you everything they can to show this. Not to mention they also become quite the characters in their senior years, so I encourage you to open your homes and your hearts and I promise you will not regret it.

There are no guarantees in life at any age and my life with any one of my seniors would feel fulfilled whether we had 6 months or 6 years together. I wouldn’t trade a minute of my time with them so please consider saving a senior – your heart will thank you.

Most, if not all, rescues and shelters have a senior population, but there are also organizations that specifically focus on helping older dogs. Rescues like this include:

So please consider adopting a senior pet - your life will be forever changed for the better.

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