Question 9 year old German Shepherd
It is the first time I have a German Shepherd "Odin", and yesterday he just turned 9. He is male and has medium length fur. I have a few questions and would really appreciate some feedback. He is my first dog.
1. Exercise: Does this routine look ok for a 9 year old German Shepherd? Please note I live in a rather hot environment. Around 7 am a 45 min. walk and we always rotate places we walk in. Around noon a 15-20 min walk just for peeing and at that point it is usually rather warm so we try to walk in the shade as much as possible. Around 7pm another 15-20 min walk, around 10:30pm a 30 min walk as he loves walking at nights and the temperature drops. Once a week, we play fetch with frisbees, balls etc, problem is, he gets tired fast. He loves to play fetch but unless earlier, he obviously runs full turbo mode for 4-5 runs, then jogs, then just stays with the toys and lies down. Also daily he plays with dogs from neighbors for about 10-15 mins.
Exercise wise, does this seem ok? When home, all he does is sleep and after breakfast and dinner he is very energetic and barks around and we do intelligence games mainly, or I try to teach him something new, but in between the walks etc it is safe to say he just stays in his corners, in his crate, outside in the shade, and naps. He doesn't really search my wife and me anymore as before, he comes at time to be scratched on his chest, but I wonder if it is normal if with age they tend to be a bit more to themselves?
Also, I have a new car now, no more SUV but in Europe we use these cars known as Tourer/Kombi, that have about the same trunk size (the low long ones, no sedans). He still easily jumps in an out, is the jumping ok or shall I use a ramp now already? I already trained him to use it. I read a lot that dogs should not be jumping anyone when getting older, now a good time to stop? What about stairs and jumping on top of beds etc?
2. Nutrition: Problem... Odin, by nature, always was, very moody to eat. He since small, no matter what I do, he never eats without exercising first a bit and even then, he is very very picky. Even if I make a Porterhouse steak if I could early in the morning, he would not care for it unless I play the ball a bit in the garden. I always gave him this popular food over here which is like 1/3 moist, and 2/3 hard kibble known as ALpha Spirit Free Range Duck. I mix it with Hills i/d digestive care because my dog had always issues with stool as well, once I mixed the two, perfect results. Orijen etc just never did well for him, stool way too liquid. However, I am now trying Acana Adult but it seems to have rather lots of fats for my liking. The ingridients of Alpha Spirit you can find by googling the following: Alpha Spirit Free Range Duck Huella Canina (sorry, I have too few posts to be able to post links, system does not allow me).
And here is from the hills i/d sensitive care: Please google the ingridients in the Petco website, it is all there and the system does not allow me to post links yet due to not sufficient posts.
I also add a bit of wet food to get the flavor up and at times a slice or so of turkey/chicken just for him to really go at it.
But I am at a blank and worried tbh. Ideally, I just want to continue as it is, but it is NOT Senior food. I mixed in a bit of Acana Senior (1/3 Acana 1/3 Alpha Spirit 1/3 Hills Digestive Care) and it has fantastic results too, he likes the Acana Senior, but it appears to have higher levels of fat. Any suggestions and recommendations from your experience? I am very worried the bad stool comes back if I introduce him to a complete new food, with his difficulties already in wanting to eat.
These are about for now the only concerns that I have. I brush his teeth daily, his vision and hearing is perfect, he still loves visits but he appears to really just want to be left alone when home and the only times he really enjoys being highly indoor active is right after he ate and we do lots of exercises and intelligence games (without it being too much, not to harm him as it is not good to heavy exercise after eating), but that's the only time. He also spends much more time in his crate sleeping. Makes me a bit sad, as if I am at fault maybe to make things too boring for him.
I miss having him come check up on me in the middle of the night and be a bit next to my bed. I miss him begging me to jump onto the sofa to watch some netflix, or to sit next to my chair to be scratched a bit and then sleep next to me as I work (I work 70% from home unless I deal with clients). I do all possible, take him to the beach, to the mountains, each day I try to have him do a different routine than previous day on the morning walks.
Sorry for the huge long wall-of-text, I was just curious as I never had a dog before.
Thanks in advance