What Should My Dog Do All Day?

Okay, so I’m a little worried about my funky Spunky, the world’s cutest bichon frise. He gets two 30-minute (or so) walks, one in the morning and one in the evening, and he gets other trips outside as needed. He gets as much attention as he seems to want, we play tug of war and fetch and baby tlw is now at an age where she likes to chase him around, which he enjoys.

But… (There’s always a but, isn’t there?)

When we’re not actively engaging him, Spunky just lays around. He doesn’t find ways to amuse himself (he’s got chew bones, for instance, that he doesn’t find and chomp on the way he used to) or wander around the house, he doesn’t go get water, even, without encouragement. He has to be in the same room as either myself or Mr. tlw, as well. To combat the water problem, we now have water dishes in our bedroom and our offices so he has ready access to it without one of us walking him out to the kitchen.

Spunky is getting older; he’s 9 now on the verge of 10. Even though he’s a small dog he’s definitely middle-aged and yet, when he’s playing he romps and scampers like a puppy. And when he gets to ride in the car, he jumps around like he’s just plain mad. He doesn’t seem to have arthritis or cataracts or any other physical ailments, he just almost seems to be in a funk.

Or perhaps not – I’m not sure if his “down time” behavior is indicative of a problem or if it’s just a reflection of him starting to slow down a bit plus the change in our lifestyles as we all adjust to having a human in the household who has taken over his position as our little baby.

I’m wondering if I should just adjust, or if I should look into doggie day care to give him more activity during the day. I want him to be as healthy and happy and carefree as he can be for as long as possible, so I’m willing to make adjustments and incur a bit of expense if it would be a help to him.

Any doggie lovers have any thoughts?

What would any guy do hould he have the money and the reach?

Lickick himself. :smiley:

Whoa! This is my situation!

I dunno, tlw. I’ve tried to teach him how to type properly so he can get an account here.

Well, maybe he is just enjoying retirement. Want to know what my doggie does all day - at least when we’re gone? He redecorates! Apparently we just thought we needed windowsills, and nothing tastes better then a tasty dining room table leg. Baseboards are perfect for those hard to reach back teeth - much better then the 1/2 dozen real chewies scattered around the house.
Trade ya?

We have three older dogs (all over ten) and they do slow down. Do you have a window Spunky could sit and look out? They like that. We go and sit outside in the nice weather, and they come out with us.

Bandit is my oldest, and he does a lot of sleeping/just laying around, but he has some pain in his back end and I know it is hard for him to get up. That is the hardest, I know the pain is going to be too much for him someday soon. We are trying to control the pain with drugs, but due to some already-present liver problems the vet doesn’t want to prescribe Rimydal, and one alternative (Etogesic) didn’t work.

One thing that did perk Bandit up was when we got a new kitten last fall, but that only worked for a few months until Bandit got used to her being here. Now he ignores her, like the other cats. Maybe a puppy would help?

Doggie day care is always an option, but at his age maybe it’s just too much excitement. I don’t know how long bichons live, but presumably he’s approaching elderly status. Have you had him checked by your vet to make sure there’s nothing physically wrong? If not, hey, maybe he just enjoys lying around – heaven knows my two younger dogs do, that seems to be their favorite activity (other than trying to KILL KILL KILL the mailman daily!)!

dantheman, he’s only 9, he’s not old enough to be a Doper yet!

Boscibo, we live on an upper floor of a high rise apartment building, so Spunky’s window views aren’t all that fascinating to him. We have a balcony that we never use and he sits and watches out that door in case birds land, which they do frequently. He likes to watch birdies. :slight_smile:

Mama Tiger, he’s not really elderly. Bichons can live 15 years or more, like all of the small breeds. (The dog weighs 9 pounds. He’s small.) He’s really more middle aged, and he’s very healthy. He actually enjoys going to the kennel when we travel, because he loves to play with other dogs. Doggie day care for him would be like sending a kid on a playdate. I’m going to go ahead and look into it. My husband thinks that the kennel we use has daycare services, so that’d be perfect, since he knows the people there.

Don’t be silly, tlw. He’s 63. He’s frickin’ old. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooold.

What should he do all day?

Be on the wrong side of the door and stare at you for food like he’s never been feed in his life.

At least that’s my dog’s role in this house. She now resembles a large pot roast with four legs and a drool gland.

I live with a 17 year-old Psyco-Cocker Spaniel. She’s Jet black, sculpted muzzel, very petite; in short, (IMTBO) the most beautiful Cocker ever to grace the face of the earth.

When Bug was about 8 or 9 she became very slothful unless we actively engaged her in an activity, (much like her person). Hell, we were both middle aged so it worked out great.

She stayed pretty much like that until she was about 12, then she began “resting” (not in the Norwegian Blue Parrot sense) much more and now just stirs for a cat chase and food. I must add that, after a cat chase, she still walks away (albeit a bit stiffly) with the same bad-ass look of satisfaction shining through her ancient, rhuemy eyes that she had in her youth).

My dog used to mine plutonium when she was his age, but she was a strange dog.

I think dogs just slow down when they get older, like humans. Our little poodle is almost 10. He doesn’t get around like he used to and he is laying in a crate at this moment of his own free will. We have noticed a slow down in him and even sent him to have a geriatric screening at the vet. To which they couldn’t find anything wrong. I still think there is something wrong. I just don’t know.

I don’t think that doggie daycare is a bad idea. I wouldn’t make it a daily thing though even if you can afford it. I would start slow with something like that to see how he acts. Certainly make sure he is up on all shots and then some before you do that. Like kennel cough, parvo etc. Let us know how it goes if you do the doggie daycare.