Homemade Beef and Carrots Topper Recipe

Rusty isn't a big fan of toys. Given the choice he's more likely to take a nap rather than spend time with a new stuffed rabbit.

If this sounds like your senior dog (or dog of any age, really) what are you going to do to add a little variety to their life?

Why not try a Supper Topper?

A Supper Topper is just what it sounds like: a special treat to top your dog's regularly scheduled meal.

Today's recipe is for my Homemade Beef and Carrots Topper. It's pretty simple to make. Here's the ingredients you'll need to get started:

Just Say No to Table Scraps this Holiday Season

If you look on the back of most pet food containers you'll see a warning about introducing your dog to a new diet too quickly. Most instructions that you'll find inform you that you should slowly introduce the new food while weening your dog off the old.

Why am I mentioning this now?
Well... right around this time of year there's lots of great things being cooked up in the kitchen and plenty of company around who might not know what treats agree and don't agree with your dog. Giving your dog a higher percentage of new foods than they're used to is akin to changing their diet as drastically as if you replaced their current kibble with another brand abuptly.

Even though I know what will and won't upset Rusty's stomach I've thrown him a scrap now and again. The outcome isn't always pretty as what comes out the other end be that during potty breaks or in the form of a deadly gaseous attack.

It seems that every older dog that I get has some issues getting accustom to new food, so this holiday season instead of dropping a lot of well-intentioned treats your dog's way, consider the following as a few tricks to help avoid causing your pal and upset stomach or worse:

  1. Tell you guests to not feed your dog any scraps. 
  2. If you're OK with #1, let them know not to feed the dog from the table.  At least you'll be able to monitor the situation better.
  3. Make sure any dog-height consumables are out of reach. 
  4. Limit any human food that you're giving your dog to things you would give them during other times of the year. Avoid chicken and turkey skin, as well as gravy and sauces. Also stay away from bread. It's way too tempting to throw your dog the end of a loaf of Italian bread because its tough like a biscuit. Trust me here. Don't do it. Dogs have a much more sensitive digestive system than humans and trying to digest that much grain is going to give some dogs (pretty much all the old ones I've had) the runs.
  5. Finally, watch their bowel movements, and if something doesn't seem right consult your vet.
More often than not you can get your dog back on track with a couple of days of boiled chicken (with the fat skimmed off) and white rice, but for medical issues, you're best to check with a professional first. 

Dressing up your dog for Christmas

Every year, thousands of dogs are forced to where either a Santa hat or reindeer antlers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. If this sounds like you and your dog, consider the trauma and ridicule that you're putting them through and... if they really haven't been that good this year, or they really like it, then by all means give them exactly what they deserve :)

Where's Santa?

Oldies Club - Champions for senior dogs in the UK

Pretty shortly after launching I was amazed at the traffic that I was coming in from around the globe. I connected with one of those folks, Victoria Clare from the Oldies Club, on Twitter. From their mission statement: "The Oldies Club helps older dogs find forever homes."

Sky's Ball Dance is a big hit with her foster parents
Since our missions are so common, and Oldies Club has been around for so much longer, I wanted to learn all about how they got started, what they're doing today, and what makes them tick. In the process, I also learned something about how adoptions work and that the things that motivate us to do right by our old canine companions is the same, regardless of which part of the globe that we live.

SP: First, can you tell me a little about the Oldies Club, its mission, and how it got started? How long has it been around?
VC: Oldies Club was founded back in 2005 by regular visitors to an internet forum who wanted to help an 13 year old dog called Ted who had been found straying and was was terrified in the noisy, stark pound kennels.  Publicity for his plight led to several home offers for him - many from people who would not have considered adopting a younger dog. 

After that, a group of volunteers decided that they would work together to promote other old dogs across Britain who might otherwise be overlooked.  It became clear that there were far more old dogs in need of urgent help than rescues able to give them appropriate care so we started taking some of them into foster homes of our own, and fundraising to support their medical needs. We became a registered charity in 2007.

We now work with over 100 other dog rescues across the UK to promote their old dogs. Every dog has a special writeup on their own page, created by our volunteers.  Often busy rescue volunteers don't have time to think of all the questions an adopter might want to ask, so we try to make sure that all the information you might need about a dog is written up clearly and in a way that makes them sound appealing!  

We also operate as a rescue exclusively for dogs aged 7 and over.   Although we do occasionally use kennels briefly when a dog has just come in, we try to get dogs into one of our volunteer foster homes as quickly as possible.  We feel that kennels are not the best environment for elderly dogs that may have specific medical needs and are used to a home environment. 

SP: How did you find out about it and made you want to help?  What's your current role?

Looking forward to a new year with has been around for six months and some sixty some-odd posts, not including those on adoption. I can't believe how blessed and/or lucky I've been at having been able to connect with quite a few folks that think that senior dogs are pretty cool as well. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to contact me to see how we can work together or just to share your own story. My goal here is to inspire those who are considering adopting and older dog, but all of you are my inspiration.

I've gotten a lot of the tech work related to the layout and shop portions of the site complete. In the future I'll be streamlining the categories in the navigation, as well as including more sidebar items, including highlighted posts, contests, and links to other resources around the web. I'm also in the process of working on the first couple of videos, which I'm targeting for early next year.

Whew... that's no small amount of work still left to be done, so if there are particular things that you want to see or want to see more of one feature or another (or <gasp> things that you'd like to see less of), go ahead and comment below. I've also opened up the comments, so you don't need to register. Alternatively, you can always send me a note via the Contact tab, above.

Look for new interviews, tips, tricks, health, rescue, pet profiles, and other posts in the coming weeks. Maybe you'll even see a guest post or two.

Thanks again for all your support,

How to Break the Holiday Dog Adoption Blues

You've seen  the commercials:

The parents sipping their coffee by the Christmas tree as the kids run down stairs to unwrap their gifts and lo and behold, there is a puppy with a ribbon around its neck.

What a great present!

Fa-la-la-la la-la... wait.

Let's pause on that for a moment and look at some of the top reasons for folks relinquishing their pets to shelters:

  • behavior problems
  • not enough time
  • cannot afford care
  • allergic
  • new baby

With the exception of the last item, the first four are reasons that are only obscured by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Let's look closer on how to avoid these:


December Adoption Update

I couldn't be any happier with this month's Adoption Update.

We've had months that more dogs have been adopted, but this month, my person favorite, found her forever home:

The lovely and talented, Hazel, found her forever home.

One of the reasons that I started this site was to learn as much as I share about all the good from bringing a senior dog into your life and how much it does for all parties involved.

I think Hazel's story highlights how impactful even the simplest of decisions can make in someone else's life. In this case, recognizing how special Hazel is and caring enough to do something about her predicament.

My thanks go out to Lori, Karen, and Hazel's foster mom for looking out for her and working to eventually find her a home to call her own.

RUFF building new facilities for dogs left behind

I came across Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends (RUFF) Rescue several months ago when starting After extensive review of their website and seeing all the good that director, Janice Brooks, and her staff of volunteers are doing, I wanted to do something to help get the word out. In particular, I wanted to call out all of the good they've been doing in spite of an uphill battle with a lack of funding since the Gulf Oil Spill.

I've researched a lot of worthy organizations that provide valuable services to our aging canine population and decided that the RUFF Rescue is the first such organization to receive the SeniorPooch Golden Rescue Award for its efforts.

Ruff has saved over 2,200 dogs since its founding back in 2004 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, many of which found their way there from deployed military and senior citizens who were not allowed to bring their canine companions to their nursing homes.