(Closed) We might be adopting a senior golden retriever…advice?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
8424 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I think it is AMAZING that you are adopting a senior dog!!! Darling Husband and I are volunteers at our local shelter and we often foster dogs. It is so sad that amount of senior dogs that get put down simply b/c they are old….goldens make the best pets.

I almost couldn’t even open your post b/c just this Fri we had to put down our golden who was 9. He had cancer and he no longer was responding to the chemo. It was by far the hardest decision that I have even had to make. He died in my arms and I was there as he took his last breath. That dog brought us so much joy and I can’t tell you what a JOY is was having him!

I hope that you do decide to bring this baby into your home….like I said I almost couldn’t bring myself to open this post but felt that maybe if I chimed in it might give your the encouragement to adopt this baby!

Post # 5
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@LadyJDAG:  I also think it is awesome that you are considering adopting a senior pet.

I may have some advice, although I have never adopted a dog.  I have adopted quite a few cats though.  As far as how she will react when you bring her home, I think you will be able to get a feeling about that when you meet her.  When you meet her next weekend, will you and your husband be able to be alone with her?  Maybe take her for a walk?  I think you will be able to see how she will react being away from her current family if you are able to do that.  She will probably be anxious at first, but with a lot of attention and love, she will feel more secure and happy soon. 

When you introduce her to your cat, I highly suggest keeping them separated for a day or so.  Let them sniff at each other underneath the door for a day and then introduce them under supervision.  In my experience, it is best to take these introductions slowly.  Make sure you continue to give your cat as much attention as you normally do.  However, although it may take a few weeks for them to feel ok with each other, I am sure that they will get there.  My cats all hated each other for about a month, but they are all the best of friends now. 

Post # 6
Member
248 posts
Helper bee

I hope that you do this and you deserve great respect for being willing to adopt a senior. Most people think that once a dog is old then there is no point but that is SO wrong. There is nothing like a dog in your life. 

When you go to meet him/her get down on their level and let them come to you. Stick our your hand and let them smell you. Take everything at his/her pace. Something that we do with the dogs that foster with us is share the new owners scent. They bring a towel/piece of material with them and we place it in the dogs space. The scent works best if it is something that you sleep with for a few nights. It helps make them familiar with you. 

Because my SO and I foster animals,  we are used to an animal adjusting to our lives and us to theirs.  We are currently fostering a senior until he goes to his forever home next week. We haven’t had many issues with accidents over the years (we’ve been fostering for 4 years). The main thing we’ve faced is howling or whimpering. Goldens aren’t prone to howling but if it does happen just remember to be patient. The behavior usually goes away. If you are willing to provide a lot of love then the adjustment should be a breeze. Having the weekend together will help make everything easier. Make sure you have a special place just for the dog. If the dog is crate trained, continue that. Crates make some animals feel safer, especially if that is their routine. In their crate you can have a bed and a piece of material with your scent as well. Most important: Let them come to you. Everything needs to go at their pace.  

In terms of cats; What we did was let the introductions happen on their own. Since your cats have been socialized with dogs then the experience should be great. We supervised, but other than that we didn’t need to do anything else. What I’ve found is that introductions are usually a case by case basis. You’ll know what to do. 

Once again, best of luck and I’m so glad to see someone willing to not only adopt a senior pet but work on their weight issues. 

Post # 8
Member
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t have any advice, but I just wanted to reiterate how great it is that you’re giving a senior dog a nice home. I’m glad that are people out there like you. Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
722 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Golden’s are awesome! Most likely she won’t need too much adjusting and will do fine! They have a very go with the flow attitude! Be prepared for lots of love and affection – our goldens can never get enough!

Post # 10
Member
248 posts
Helper bee

@LadyJDAG:  

With a senior dog I wouldn’t really consider Pet Insurance. Pet insurance doesn’t cover any pre-exisiting medical conditions and they are a pain to deal with. I got my dog as a pup (9 weeks old) and they battled me for 2 years over covering her diabetes. Most issues in older dogs will be considered pre-existing anyways. Plus, the extremely high end surgerys in an older dog are usually not the best ideas. (Arthritis, etc becomes an issue.) Once you get the weight under control I’m sure you’ll be fine. The only thing I’d consider is glucosamine in an older dog. It helps keep their joints lubricated. This can be bought through a vet (so it’s meat flavored) or from Costco etc. 

Post # 11
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Goldens are the best!  Ours will sulk for a few days when we leave her with someone else, but then she’ll be fine.  They’re really easy going and have tons of love to give. 

Post # 12
Member
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I LOVE LOVE LOVE old retrievers!  That is when they are at their best!  Just lots of love and hugs and think about taking it swimming when the weather gets nice 🙂  It helps the joints and they love it!

Post # 13
Member
4951 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Did you adopt her, or is that this coming weekend?

Older dogs are usually wonderful because they are out of the puppy phase and usually don’t bring a lot of bad habits with them. I always feel bad for the older pets who either get dumped (they aren’t cute little pups anymore), their owners pass away or a divorce. People always pass by them at the shelters, and I think “you’re passing up a perfect dog here!”

Let us know how it goes!

 

Post # 15
Member
4951 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I always baby gate a new dog in the kitchen – mainly so the new dog (whether permanent or foster) can get to know the other dogs without actually being together, if that makes sense. Once they are used to each other, then I let them roam around together.

Having her gated in the kitchen with her bed/crate/toys in there might actually give her some feeling of security while you are gone. It would be her “safe place.”

I’ve never had an issue with separation anxiety with senior dogs, but I’m sure it’s possible, depending on her background.

Can’t wait to hear updates!

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