With their almost sorrowful-looking eyes and long, curling eyelashes on an advert, it can take all your self-discipline to stop yourself from heading to the nearest dog shelter and rehoming all the fluffy friends you see. Yet, if you can restrain yourself from just buying one, you’ll find that rehoming an OAP (old-aged puppy) is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
Older dogs can make excellent companions, especially if you select from some of the most family-friendly breeds, like a Labrador, Beagle, Golden Retriever, or Cockapoo. Plus, if you lack the time (or energy!) needed for a young puppy rescuing an older Cockapoo is an excellent alternative since they don’t need as intense of an exercise regime and aren’t as enthusiastic as younger dogs. Yet, don’t let this cloud your judgement; they are just as sweet, energetic, and loveable as any other Cockapoo.
However, like a young puppy, rescuing an older Cockapoo is a big commitment. There are several things to be aware of before rushing to the nearest shelter and rehoming one, a few of which we outline below. From taking out dog insurance to protect your new Cockapoo against age-related health concerns and feeding them the correct diet, keep reading to find out more.
Watch Out For Any Underlying Health Concerns
Contents and Quick Navigation
Like humans, as our canine companions get older, they are left vulnerable to age-related health concerns affecting their overall quality of life. Due to this, you must consider these health issues before rehoming an older Cockapoo to understand them and know whether you can potentially handle a dog with them.
Some of the most common age-related health issues that can affect an older Cockapoo are poor eyesight and stiff joints. Due to their floppy ears, they’re also prone to hearing problems later in life, so you must watch for any changes and report them to your vet so that they can determine whether these changes are anything to worry about.
Alongside frequent vet visits, it might be best to take out dog insurance from providers such as Purely Pets for your older Cockapoo since it can protect you against unexpected costs related to your pet and provide other benefits. From unlimited around-the-clock video consultations with vets to an online policy management portal, consider visiting their site to see how their policies could help you care for your rescue Cockapoo today.
Changes To An Older Cockapoos Diet
Since older Cockapoos do not require as intensive of an exercise routine as younger Cockapoos, they’re prone to putting on weight. Like humans, older dogs need fewer calories later in life to match the less activity they’re getting. Failure to make the necessary changes to your older Cockapoos diet can lead to medical conditions like obesity and diabetes, which can be extremely serious in adult and mature dogs.
Due to this, you might find that you need to make changes to their diet as they continue to age so that they get the correct vitamins and nutrients for their age. Since most dog food manufacturers produce food based on the different stages of a dog’s life, it is essential to pay attention to the label, as adult food may lack the vitamins, nutrients and supplements in mature food and fewer calories.
As well as making changes to their everyday wet and dry food, you must limit the amount of human food you give them. Although it can be challenging when they give you puppy dog eyes, not all human food is suitable for dogs and, in some cases, can cause weight gain or worse! Instead, swap these treats for healthy alternatives like carrots, unseasoned chicken, blueberries, and other nutritious human foods for dogs.
Fortunately, various dog food brands on the market can assist you with this task and ensure that your Cockapoo ingests the correct nutrients/vitamins they need to care for their ageing bones. Yet, suppose you’re unsure what to feed your older Cockapoo. In that case, you can always seek advice from a veterinary professional who can point you in the right direction regarding some age-appropriate dry food, wet food and treats for your canine companion.
Ensure You Can Give Them What They Need
Since older dogs are much less demanding than younger dogs, their lists of needs wants, and requirements are much shorter. Like humans, older Cockapoos prefer the simplicity of a quiet life and are content with being someone’s companion as they grow older.
For example, an older dog might not be your ideal companion if you have a large family with younger children. Since young children are full of energy and don’t always respect boundaries (for people or animals!), bringing an elderly dog into this environment might not be the best for the animal or your children.
If this is the case, you’ll likely find that your children will grow bored of the Cockapoo because it’s not as exciting or lively as a younger dog would be. In contrast, you’ll probably find that the Cockapoo has a lot less time for your children as they get less tolerant as they age; therefore, they might not be the best playmate for your little ones!
On the other hand, if you’re bringing an older animal into a quiet, peaceful environment like a retiree’s home, their physical and emotional needs are much more likely to be cared for. A retiree is more likely to respect and appreciate an older dog’s lifestyle since they might face similar age-related issues themselves!
Be Wary Of Whom You Buy From
As with anything you buy online, you want to ensure that the person/business you’re buying from is reputable to have the best buying experience. When it comes to rehoming animals, you can find hundreds of adverts with pictures of sorrowful-looking dogs’ faces and be tempted to buy from them, but they could be more sinister than they appear.
Many independent sellers and businesses have animals’ best interests at heart, but many don’t, which is why it is essential to be wary of whom you buy from while online. There are hundreds of reputable sites approved by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group, but there are also ones that aren’t, which is why you should steer clear of ones that have the following red flags:
- Limited information about the item/product you’re buying.
- No recent customer reviews or hidden ones.
- No information about the dog’s behaviour, health, appearance, etc.
A Less Vigorous Exercise Regime
When you get a new dog, you expect them to have endless energy, constantly want to go on walks, rarely take naps, and zoom around your house as they get used to the new smells, sights, and sounds. However, this is not the same for older Cockapoos; instead of the fast-paced pups that you’re used to, you’ll find that older dogs are much calmer and easy-going.
Since older Cockapoos have less energy than their younger counterparts, they’re more prone to sleeping at regular intervals throughout the day. They are more likely to save their energy for their mid-afternoon walk rather than chase a ball around the garden, and when you take them on a walk, they’re more likely to set their own pace than match yours.
Due to this, you must create a less vigorous exercise regime for them, as it’s still crucial for them to get their daily amount of exercise, just not as strenuous as it would have been during puppyhood. Set this regime by taking them on more frequent yet shorter walks and avoiding long treks, which will help keep their joints mobile.
If you rescue an older dog, you’ll also have to consider aftercare following their exercise regime. A younger pup may have no trouble curling up on the kitchen floor after a brisk walk, yet an older dog may require a comfier bed to sleep on so their joints can recover after exercising. They may also need ramps to manage the stairs or get into their car more quickly.
Keep An Eye On Their Behaviour
As well as physical changes older dogs are also susceptible to mental changes as they go through life. Therefore, you must monitor their behaviour and report any worrying changes to your local vet. Some of the most significant behavioural problems that older dogs experience are that they’ll become much less patient, bark more often, and display other behavioural changes like senility and compulsive behaviours.
To avoid any mental deterioration (or lessen it), you must provide your older Cockapoo with new additions to its routine. Whether meeting a new person, smelling a fresh smell, or playing a new game, it can help keep your Cockapoos mind engaged with their surroundings and trigger healthy neurons in the brain.
As well as the above, you can try feeding your Cockapoo a healthy diet full of vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which is known for aiding brain development, keeping them active, introducing more interactive types of play, and much more. If all else fails, ensure that you keep them comfortable and check in with a vet regularly so they’re monitored.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.