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You start  to notice it. The gray muzzle, the extra long creaky stretches upon waking, and that slower pace, but those trusting eyes always stay the same.

You have to admit, your dog is getting along in years, but don't think of your beagle as becoming geriatric! With proper care these can be the "golden years."

At about 9 years old your beagle may need some additional tests performed at routine check ups. An example would be a geriatric profile, which is a test that requires samples of blood and urine. These tests help the vet decide if there are any underlying problems that haven't surfaced yet, such as liver, kidney, and/or other organs not performing as well as they should. They also can catch diseases early, such as diabetes or thyroid disease.

Your vet may also recommend a lower (or higher) calorie dog food, or one with smaller amounts of more easily digestible proteins. As they age, dogs intestinal systems just can't handle rich foods. Even that little chunk of cheese or piece of hot dog they used to love in their younger days may cause them to have diarrhea or constipation.

The older beagles immune system simply isn't what it used to be, and he may become more susceptible to colds,   infections, or parasites.

Older beagles may need extra blankets and thicker bedding, as they just can't tolerate being cold.

Older pets may need to go "outside" more often to do their business. Those 3:00 in the morning walks you once did as they were pups may happen again as they age. If you notice incontenence, contact your vet. The old age problem can now be controlled! Pets no longer face euthanasia simply because they can't "hold it" any longer.

Older pets may have episodes of dementia with or without memory loss, but again, medications and even prescription foods can offset the effects of old age on an older pets brain.

But this doesn't mean turn the poor fellow out to pasture! As a matter of fact, exercise in moderation benefits older dogs, unless they already have the onset of arthritis. Check with your vet to determine if your beagle can start an exercise routine.
If your older dog is active, let them stay active. After all, you are only as old as you feel!

Years ago there wasn't much we could do for the older pet. Now there are arthritis medications, nutritional supplements, special diets, and even special beds made for arthritic pets. We can  help them live longer, better quality lives.
(Thanks to Bev for the Cottontail Blues Pictures!!!)
Believe it or not, this guy is still active and hunting those bunnies at 10 years old! Somebody has to show those youngsters how it is done!

Sometimes, unfortunately, the foods, medications, supplements, and extra care and attention
simply aren't working any longer.
Eventually our good intentions may only prolong the inevitable...
Of course, there comes that dreaded time when our friend is in pain or is dying. We don't even want to think of the end. No  words can express the sorrow felt when a pet dies, or when they are released from pain and suffering through euthanasia.

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.
Author unknown...

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If you are grieving over the loss or illness of a pet please be sure to visit