Sexy Seniors

On September 30th most of the original Active Paws crew headed out to Hopkinton State Park for the annual Boxer Bash party hosted by The Boxer Rescue. It was a rainy cold Autumn day that brought out 10’s of rain-coated Boxers and their adoring owners. Over $1400 was raised for the rescue, one of the most successful single-breed events I have ever attended and on such a dismal day.

Among those Boxers that attended the event I saw a lot of white-faced seniors milling around collecting cookie bounties and pets from anyone that would doll them out. I noticed the seniors were a bit more sly than the youngsters. The young pups would jump and bark at people, overtly misbehaving so that their humans would give them a command then reward for doing a good job. The seniors had it all figured out and rather than be bad to start with, they would saunter up to an unsuspecting cookie-wielding human and just give the look. You know that look;

Tank, giving Kelly one of the directors of the Boxer Rescue the “beg face”

The foundation dogs of Active Paws are Boxers, so we have a natural affinity towards the breed, but just as the business creeps towards its 10 year anniversary so have many of the Active Paws pets. As humans we generally think of youth as the cornerstone of health, beauty and all that we strive for with the millions spent on beauty products that make us look younger. With dogs however, I have found myself drawn to the seniors, the older the more I want to squeeze them! With Boxer’s especially they get that white face that never lies it shows the life of the dog through the peppery white hairs to the clouding eyes that say, ‘love me harder, hold me closer and you know what, let me get away with it because I’m old!’

Photo: Tank at woofstock wearing the Dozer shirt

Tank won “Sexiest Senior” at the Boxer Bash, he’s pictured here at another rescue event sporting his blue ribbon

I’m not exactly sure how my love of senior dogs manifested but I pickup the pace every time I see one. I get down on my knees and beg for them to come lean into me. I just want to shower them with love. Don’t get me wrong, I love the young-ins but they get all the attention. Seniors need and deserve that little bit more.

As dogs age, just like with humans they need different care. This means feeding better nutrition, paying close attention to any growths that show up, checking out their teeth more frequently, paying close attention to any lameness and of course making life easier/less stressful on their bodies.

According to the AVMA, approximately 40% of dogs seen by veterinarians are 6 years or older, remember, old age is not a condition or disease, its a stage in life. We would care for a puppy differently than a 4 year old dog so please think closely about what could better your 10 year old’s life. Aging occurs slowly and almost imperceptibly over time for our pets, try and be objective and proactive, finding a limp or a lump too late can be devastating for you and your pet.

Its fun and a great bonding experience to help improve the quantity of your senior pet’s life. I teach a Pet First Aid and CPR Class where we learn how to do a “Snout to Tail” assesment. Basically you methodically go over your pet’s body checking everything snout to tail. My 10 year old thinks its the longest best message of his life!

Just this morning after a quick snout to tail to figure out why my boy had some pain trembles going on I gave Tank a puzzle toy. A younger dog would have this all over the place in a second but Tank systematically worked on getting each plug out to methodically lick out the treats stowed underneath. He thoroughly enjoyed the toy and I was tickled pink watching him.

I know some people see the white in their pet’s faces but don’t see any of their age, I used to be one of these people until I really stepped back and took a long hard look at my dogs. If your pets show any of these signs, its time to get them to the vet!

  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Ulcers, lumps or masses
  • Increased water intake
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty in getting up
  • Bad or foul breath
  • Intolerance to temperature changes
  • Aggression
  • Incontinence
  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive panting
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Hearing or sight loss
  • Sleeping more
  • Decrease in activity
  • Change in behavior

Senior pets should see the vet more frequently regardless of any apparent issues. Vital organs can start to head south very quickly, its better to catch an issue early before it causes discomfort or worse, death to your pet. Plus, older pets have a reduced ability to withstand the effects of infection, injury or disease. They need our help more. Kidney disease is the #1 killer in cats, #2 for dogs (heart is #1 in dogs).

Also how is your pet’s gate? Do they walk with a slight limp or are they noticeably stiff when first getting up? Consider joint supplements like Joint Mobility from Wholistic Pet Organics. I noticed a big change in my 10 year old’s flexibility.

So the long and short of my sexy senior rant is don’t be afraid to pay close attention to the older feline and canine companions out there. They might not chase after the laser pointer or retrieve the ball like they used to but they deserve even more of your time and attention; after all, they have spent the larger portion of their lives loving a human so love them back greater. Also if you’re looking to adopt and look over the senior pet because they wont be with you as long, keep in mind they will appreciate your time and attention so much more.

I wanted to take some time to share with you some of the white faces with whom we have had the pleasure to share our days.

In this video link is our friend Lexi, she is 12.5 years young!

How to save money at Active Paws

Did you know there are ways to cut down your bill with Active Paws? We like to help you save money and keep your pets happy at the same time. The following is a list of our current and ongoing promotions.

Referral Program

If you are pleased with our service and would like to tell other people about us, please do! When the person or people you refer sign a contract with Active Paws, you have your choice of one of the following: 1) One free day of your most expensive dog walking service; 2) Half a day of our dog pet sitting service for free, or; 3) One free day of cat sitting service (for cat clients).

You must have the people or person that signs up with us put your name down in the “How did you hear about Active Paws” section of our new client questionnaire. On the back of our business card is a place for you to write your name and give the card to your friend, this should help them to remember.

Frequent Buyer Programs

Many of our quality pet foods have their own frequent buyer programs. Here is a list of the current promotions we support in the store:

  1. Acana and Orijen. Both offer buy 12 bags, get one free. The free item has to match the least expensive item purchased. To enroll in this program, ask us for the frequent buyer card. Fill out the front, and we keep the card in the store so you don’t forget it when you come to buy your food.
  2. Blue Buffalo. Blue offers a buy 10 bags, get one free program. The free bag must be the same size bag or case as what you usually buy. We also keep the Blue frequent buyer cards at the store.
  3. Earthborn. Earthborn offers buy 10 bags, get one free. The free bag will be the same size as the most frequently purchased bag. Earthborn frequent buyer cards are also kept at the store.
  4. Fromm. Fromm offers buy 12 bags, get one free. The free bag will be the same size as the most frequently purchased bag. With the Fromm frequent buyer program, we give you the envelope to keep at home. Fromm requires that the UPCs from the bags be cut out and stored inside the envelope until you have 12, which is why we can’t keep the Fromm frequent buyer envelopes at the store, since you open the bags at home! Please remember to fill out the purchase dates on the envelope. Once you have collected all 12 UPCs, bring the envelope (with your customer information filled out) to the store to redeem your free bag!
  5. Primal. Primal offers buy 10 items, get $5 off on your next purchase. We keep the Primal cards in the store. Fill out a card, and we will mark the card with the date stamp on the frozen product and stamp it.

To participate in the frequent buyer programs, you must physically come into our store. We do offer free delivery to clients, but this is in place of our normal delivery charge. Food delivered to your home will not be included in the frequent buyer programs.

We also offer 10% off of all canned foods in a purchase when you buy 12 or more 12 ounce or larger cans, or 24 3 ounce or 5.5 / 6 ounce cans.

We also offer free frisbees on Fridays! That’s right, stop in to our store and ask us for a free Active Paws frisbee.

Orijen & Acana Kitchen Repair and Supply Update

We love Acana and Orijen pet foods, and we also know how frustrating it can be when you come in to your favorite local pet supply shop and can’t find what you’re looking for. Acana and Orijen supply has been spotty recently due to first a package change, and — most recently — a kitchen fire that occurred in early September. The fire destroyed one of Champion’s custom ovens and reduced the output by half.

Last week, Champion Petfoods (the makers of Orijen and Acana) sent out an email updating us on the progress of its kitchen repairs. The first delivery of custom parts for the oven are scheduled to arrive October 15. The rest of the parts are scheduled to arrive on October 22 and November 5. Champion believes it will be back to its normal production schedule by the second half of November.

Store manager Tricia has put together a substitution suggestion chart in case you run out of your desired food before we can get it on the shelves. These substitutions were selected for their similar ingredients list, which should create an easy temporary switch for your pet.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. One of the reasons Orijen and Acana have the reputations they do is because Champion refuses to outsource its production, ensuring that the food you feed to your pet is subjected to Champion’s high standards for quality control every step of the way.

If we don’t have… We recommend…
Orijen Adult Acana Prairie or Earthborn Primitive Naturals
Orijen 6 Fish Acana Pacifica or Fromm Salmon Tunalini
Orijen Regional Red Acana Ranch or Earthborn Great Plains
Origen Puppy or Orijen Large Puppy Earthborn Primitive Naturals
Orijen Senior Blue Wilderness Turkey
Orijen Cat and Kitten Earthborn Primitive Feline or Wellness Core
Acana Grasslands Lamb-based grain free kibble, such as NutriSource Lamb Meal Formula
Acana Pacifica PureVita Salmon

October at Active Paws Pet Supply

It’s October! And we wouldn’t be the pet supply store we are if we didn’t have pet costumes. Right now, we offer lobster, spider, skunk and skeleton costumes, as well as adorable themed plush toys!

We have several great specials going on, including 15% off of Mutt Nose Best shampoos and conditioners. The scents include Green Tea & Lemon Lime, Fresh Ginger Mint, Rosemary & Peppermint and more. You’ll have the best smelling dog at the dogpark!

Does your dog like canned dog food? Consider purchasing our discontinued lines, which, while perfectly healthy foods, we have decided to discontinue in favor of other yummy canned dog foods. Discounted canned foods include various Wellness canned foods, Innova, Merrick Puppy, Natural Balance, Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold, Canidae, Before Grain and Holistic Select.

Our bargain bin, located to the right of the register on the floor, is a great place to find deals on many discontinued product and canned foods that were dented during shipping. You can get as much as 50% off of our normal price. The bargain bin currently contains dental health items, soft paws, grooming items, food supplements, a toy or two, and more.


We’re also offering 15% off of all cat toys and accessories, so don’t forget Kitty!