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Who would’ve ever thought I could love a dog so much? I didn’t grow up in a family of animal lovers so it just wasn’t on my mind. Although we did have some pets from time to time, they were never seen as an important part of the family. I spent most of my early life indifferent towards dogs. I didn’t love them but didn’t hate them either.
That is, until Bailey, my F1B miniature Goldendoodle came into my life. You could say that she rescued me and she has changed my life throughout the 14 years that I have been blessed to know her.
It’s been a wonderful ride and if you are curious to know more about Mini Goldendoodles and how they are in their senior years, keep reading.
We picked our Mini Goldendoodle up when she was only seven weeks old and only weighed 2 1/2 pounds. She was just a ball of fluffy hair at the time and a bundle of joy. Fast forward 14 years and now she is one of the most important parts of our lives. She brings us so much joy on a daily basis and we look forward to being with her each day.
Over the years, we have learned a great deal about her as well as the crossbreed in general. One thing is for sure, she is the smartest dog that I have ever been around. Many people will tell you that Goldendoodles are just humans in a furry costume. This can often seem true since they are so smart and perceptive to us humans. The miniature version of a Goldendoodle is no exception. These smaller fluff balls are super intelligent and it is a pleasure to watch them grow old.
I’m grateful for being allowed to be with her through her senior years. She’s had a long, happy life and is still going strong. I’m grateful but at the same time sad that most of her life is behind her. In this article, I would like to share how our Mini Goldendoodle has aged and some of the steps we have taken, and things we do regularly to improve the quality of her life in her senior years.
I wish it were possible to push a button and take her back to being a newborn puppy again. It would be wonderful to do it all over again but we all know that that’s not how it works. She’s a senior now and we love her even more now than we ever have.
Mini Goldendoodle Pictures As They Grow
As mentioned above, our Mini Goldendoodle was 2 1/2 pounds when we first brought her home. The picture below shows her on the night that we picked her up and she finally arrived at our house. We had picked her up at a place over two hours away from where we lived and she made her first ride back with us to her new house.
She sat in her mom’s lap for the entire trip and rested her head on the center console. She slowly tried to work her way over towards me in what would become a common theme with her as she grew up.
Some of the following pictures are of her at various ages and shows exactly what you can expect if you have a similar puppy. As you can see from the pictures, her coat got lighter in color over the years as she started with much darker hair color.
Today she looks pretty much the same to us but has aged into her senior years. She doesn’t have gray hair but as you can see from the pictures, the senior age is starting to show. You may notice some cloudiness in her eyes and she’s a little lazier now than she was when she was younger, which is to be expected of a senior dog.
You can also view her entire life by looking at the images here that show her age progression. I post new images here from time to time as she grows older.
Why a Mini Goldendoodle?
At the time that we purchased our dog, we had never seen a Goldendoodle in the area where we live. We found the standard sized ones online and fell in love with them but preferred a smaller one that would be easier to keep in the house and travel with. One of the pets I owned when growing up was a miniature poodle so I knew how smart these types of dogs were and how much fun they could be. We came across the miniature versions of Goldendoodles and fell in love all over again. If you are wondering what is so special about the miniature breed, here are a few good reasons that will help you to understand.
- They are mostly non-shedding.
- You can train them to do nearly anything in a short amount of time.
- They may live longer than larger dogs. When compared to a larger dog, a Miniature Goldendoodle may live longer.
- They are healthy. Our experience with the health of our dog has been very positive. She has only experienced small, common issues throughout her life.
- They are lap-sized and easy to travel with.
- They are playful and a joy to live with.
- They are loving and cuddly.
Mini Goldendoodle Aging Issues
A Mini Goldendoodle has aging issues just as any dog breed will have. Many of these issues are common and can only be managed rather than corrected. There are often cancers that appear as well as benign lipomas which our Mini Goldendoodle has quite a few of. We have had these tested and they are only fatty deposits that cause no harm unless they are in specific areas that may affect mobility. Our vet has done a biopsy before and determined that they are nothing to worry about.
Some of the issues that we have had with our Mini Goldendoodle in her senior years are the following.
- Benign Lipomas
- Warts and other skin bumps
- Darkened areas on the skin
- Cloudiness in eyes
- Urinary tract infections
Another issue that you might have with a Mini Goldendoodle or any other senior dog is problems with their teeth. If proper care is not taken throughout the dog’s life, you may end up with a senior dog that has rotten teeth and may need surgical help. Fortunately, we have brushed our dog’s teeth regularly throughout her life and now in her senior years, her teeth look great. There is some small buildup on the back teeth but our vet has been impressed with how clean they are. We have never had a professional cleaning done on her teeth and have only kept up with it ourselves.
I would suggest that you take teeth brushing seriously if you want your dog to have healthy teeth and good breath when they reach their senior age. It’s easy to do if you start when they are young and make it as non-stressful as possible for them. You will get into a routine and understand how to accomplish it on your specific dog.
We prefer a three-sided toothbrush and have found a lot of success using this. It’s easy to get into her mouth and you can do all sides of her teeth at one time. The finger-style toothbrushes never worked for us as they are hard to get into her mouth and the areas well enough to get her teeth cleaned.
We have also found that if you feed them dry food, it will build up more on their teeth, making them more difficult to clean. We have always used soft foods and her teeth have stayed mostly clean throughout her life. This has made it easier to keep them brushed and clean.
9 Ways To Improve Life of a Senior Goldendoodle
If your Mini Doodle is approaching their senior years in life, there are ways that you can improve their quality of life. The eight tips outlined below have helped us to improve our dog’s life and she is thriving in her senior years.
Vitamins are essential for an aging dog. It’s important to make sure that they are getting all of the nutrients and vitamins that they need and a great way to do this is to feed them a daily multivitamin. Multivitamins are often marketed for different age groups and senior multivitamins contain additional nutrients that an older dog may need. You will want to look for a multivitamin supplement that addresses some of the following.
- Hip & joint health
- Kidney & bladder health
- Cognitive improvement
I recommend Zesty Paws Advanced 8-in-1 Multivitamin Bites (NOTE: their formula and packaging changes from time to time so it may be different from the pictured item). I Can say from experience that these have been excellent for our Mini Goldendoodle. She loves the taste of these and looks forward to getting a bite every morning as a treat. We feel good knowing that we are providing her with essential nutrients and vitamins so that she can live her most healthful life. It’s comforting to know that she is thriving in her senior years and I believe that the high-quality food we feed her along with these multivitamins have helped her maintain her youthful spirit.
Another great way to increase the health of your dog is to feed them a probiotic supplement. Gut health is important for dogs and humans alike and a healthy probiotic regimen will be beneficial to your senior Mini Goldendoodle.
I recommend Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites. These are made from the same company as the multivitamins mentioned above and have been great for our dog.
One issue we’ve had with our Mini Goldendoodle over the years is her anal glands becoming full more often than they should. I became an expert at expressing them in order to remove the built-up fluid regularly. This has often been done multiple times per week over her lifetime. However, once we began using probiotics, expressing her anal glands has become a thing of the past. If you are having issues with your dog’s anal glands, you may want to try adding probiotics to their daily nutrition. I can say for certain that it has worked wonders for our dog.
She loves the taste of these probiotic bites the same way she does the multivitamin bites. We give her one every morning along with a multivitamin and she looks forward to both as her morning treat before breakfast.
3) Joint Support
We have been fortunate with our dog and she has not had any joint issues yet. At 14 years old, she still gets around and runs and plays with seemingly no issues. However, we do feed her multivitamins that have joint support in them. If your dog has joint or hip issues, you may want to consider adding some type of joint support product to their daily lives. A good place to start is with glucosamine and chondroitin.
These two are often given to senior dogs as a way to help decrease inflammation and maintain healthy movements of joints. This can make your Mini Goldendoodles life much better as a senior and give them more comfort in movement.
4) High-Quality Food
Good high-quality food is essential if you expect your Mini Goldendoodle to thrive in their senior lives. If you are not already feeding them high-quality food, now would be a great time to start. Our dog has eaten a variety of different foods throughout her life and we finally settled on a combination that seemed best for her. We generally cook her food ourselves and then add canned organic dog food to the mixture. She prefers Castor & Pollux Organix canned food. We add this food to a combination of high-quality organic vegetables and grains that we usually cook for a week’s worth.
We also include flaxseed meal for additional fiber and hormones. We give her 1/2 Tbsp each time we feed her which is in the morning and evening. Pure pureed pumpkin is also added to her food because of its many health benefits for dogs.
5) Ramp or Steps For Climbing Onto Furniture
Our dog has been jumping on and off of our bed for the majority of her life. She has had no problems in doing this but we often fear that she might break her leg as she jumps off the bed. As a precaution, I built her a dog ramp to use that allows her to climb into bed and then safely get back down to the floor. In her senior years, we want to make sure everything is comfortable for her and there is no risk of her injuring herself by jumping on and off of the bed.
The ramp that I built can be purchased but I chose to build it myself for MUCH cheaper. I do a lot of woodworking so the job was fairly easy for me to accomplish. A simple ramp like this should be easy to build if you are handy or you can simply buy a variety of different types of ramps or steps that are available on the market.
6) Less Stress
One important thing to do for a senior is to reduce the amount of stress in their lives. If your dog is high strung like ours and has separation anxiety, it can be difficult to eliminate stress. However, there are ways that you can reduce the amount of stress that they have to deal with. Our dog hates to ride in cars so we have minimized the amount of driving time that we subject her to.
She also runs and hides when it’s bathtime or teeth brushing time so these chores have been decreased some as well. Each dog is different and you should know exactly what stresses your dog out and be able to minimize the amount of time you do that. If you can simply reduce the amount of time that they have to live with any type of stress, you could potentially add more joy to the life that they have left.
Keeping your dog active is an important part of dog ownership. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it if they are in pain with joint issues or other problems due to aging. Although the time we spend walking our dog has decreased, we still take her walking regularly so that she gets the physical activity as well as the time to sniff all the different smells throughout our neighborhood. She still gets excited when we say the word “walking” and loves to go on our normal route around our neighborhood.
Another way that we have found to get her out of the house and allow her to enjoy the fresh air and smells is to ride her around our neighborhood on our golf cart. She is obsessed with this and goes insane when we mention “golf cart.” As with many things, we have to be careful when saying this word as she picks up on it and gets extremely excited.
This is common with a dog breed as smart as a Mini Goldendoodle is. In fact, no matter the dog breed, most dogs will pick up on words and phrases throughout their lives and you will have to be careful when you say them. There are many words that we have to hide from our dog and walking is certainly one of the main ones. We have switched it up to different words but it doesn’t take long for her to learn those too!
8) Lot’s of Attention
When your dog gets old, don’t just put them by the wayside and forget about them. This is the time when they need attention from you. This is often a time when people bring new puppies into their lives and can often be a hindrance to your senior dog’s happiness. Your senior dog probably just wants to chill and enjoy their time with you. Bringing a puppy into the family may make your senior dog feel left out and forgotten. This isn’t always the case and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be done.
The point is to give your dog the attention that they deserve. Do the things that you have always done with them throughout their lives. Take the time to play with them if that is what they want to do. Their needs change as they grow old and we have definitely seen this with our dog. She likes to play still but her playtime is slightly different now. She isn’t engaged in a playful activity as long as she was at a younger age. We never miss out on the opportunity to play with her and her toys and see the happiness that she is experiencing. It warms our hearts to know that we are giving her the attention that she deserves.
9) Lot’s of Love
Above all else, a senior dog needs lots of love. This is not the time to forget about them and move on to the new puppy. A senior dog has lived a long life and probably has considered you the best thing that they’ve ever had in their life. They deserve your utmost respect and attention during the aging process. Don’t give up on your senior dog and be sure and love them as much as you possibly can. Hug them each day and allow them to cuddle with you and be courteous to them as they may have issues that are out of their control.
Our Mini Goldendoodle has become incontinent at around 14 years old. She wears diapers most of the time now when roaming the house as a precaution but there are times when the urine leaks from the diapers or we forgot to put the diapers on and find a wet spot. This is not their fault and is not something they can control. All you can do is be prepared for it and show them unconditional love just as they have shown you throughout their life. There is no need to reprimand or stress about a situation like this.
A senior dog is a pleasure to own. By this time in their lives, they are probably calmed down and just want to relax and be loved. Indulge them a little bit and show them how much you love them and appreciate all of the joy that they have brought to your life.
Why A Senior Mini Goldendoodle Is Amazing!
I’ll be the first one to say that our Mini Goldendoodle has been an amazing addition to our family. Now that she is a senior, she is the priority of our days and we always put her health above everything else. She has given us a lot of great years and we are proud to have been chosen to be her parents. Senior dogs are the best ones to own as they are usually settled down, well-trained and just want to take it easy.
The trustworthiness of a senior dog is one of the best qualities that they have. It’s as if they are humans and you have lived with them long enough now to know the quirks and issues they might possess. We feel comfortable leaving ours in the house at all times knowing that she is not going to get into trouble. She had fun with her mischievous ways when she was younger but understands how to be a well-behaved, obedient dog.
No matter what the breed, a senior dog is a joy to be around and makes the process of owning a dog easier. The only problem with this is that they are a senior. This means that they have lived the majority of their lives so the time that they have left is a gift that you should appreciate and enjoy.
If you are considering bringing a Mini Goldendoodle into your family, know that you will have many years of happiness and joy. These dogs will keep you on your toes but give you lots of unconditional love.
Be sure and treat them well and let them know how much they are loved. Hopefully, the tips mentioned in this article will help you increase the happiness of your senior Mini Goldendoodle. They have done wonders for ours and we always look for ways to make her life as comfortable as possible.