Senior ETT Care

Submitted by: Karen Krause 

Does the ETT grooming needs change as they get older.  Do their nails change?

If they have oil in their diet, that should help, as they age you may need to soften them before cutting. If they do go brittle you can file them instead of cutting so they don’t chip or crack.

Will senior ETTs need more clothes?

In my opinion, definitely yes! A good waterproof fleece or coat whilst out on walks are a must as the older dog cannot always run around like he did as a youngster, so he wouldn’t be able to keep warm, also a blanket or onesie at night in the winter too when the central heating’s off, they do feel the cold.

What should be watched for with senior ETTs and teeth?

All older dogs are prone to decay and their teeth should ideally be brushed daily, if not this can lead to gum disease and teeth will need to be removed or scaled under anaesthetic and this is not ideal for any dog. If your dog is on a raw diet and can manage a raw bone, this will help to keep his teeth clean.

Can senior ETTs still eat any type of dog food?

No not always, the diet for an older dog should change to reflect their needs i.e. a senior kibble not one for a younger dog and if giving raw bones, the older dog may not be able to chew and crunch depending on how good his teeth are and how many he has. Also if the dog leads a more sedate life that has to be reflected too in the quantity that is fed daily.

Will they still get on with children, cats and other dogs?

I have found that as they get older, ETTs can tend to feel a little more vulnerable, so the big dog they are used to seeing at the park everyday can become a scary thing for no apparent reason.  Over zealous dog may be a little frightening to them, but in general they should be ok, each ETT is different.

As in any older dog of any breed, the ETT will probably be much more wary of children, and not be as tolerant as they were in their younger days.  Children must be taught to respect a senior dog’s space and to leave them alone if they retreat to a safe place.

Regarding cats, as long as they are brought up with them, that shouldn’t change.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Absolutely.  Dogs are flexible animals and live in the moment as much as possible.  ETTs, in addition, are an intelligent breed.  My experience with senior dogs that have been re-homes is clear testament that they are able to accept change and learn new rules and routines, even at a great age.

The recommendations made in this article do not replace the advice of your veterinary professional. Always exercise your own judgement about whether something is right for your dog and consult your vet if you are unsure. accepts no liability for any situation that may occur as a result of following these recommendations.

Life with 20+ ETTs: Pat & Lionel’s story

Ever dreamed of sharing your sofa with a pack of ETTs?

Stop Your ETT Pulling on the Lead

Learn how to stop your dog from pulling on the lead with Toddie’s Dog Training

Bee and Wasp Stings

What to do if your dog is stung by a bee or a wasp