Q: why is my dog so clingy?

February 1, 2010 | By Jillian | 1 answer | Expired: 2186 days ago


my dog has been extra clingy the past week. she's a 14 year old australian shepherd w/both arthritis and chronic colitis, has been to the vet {in november} and is otherwise in very good health.
she's only had colitis for maybe 6 months, but we've been able to control it w/pumpkin and probiotics. she's had one relapse since the beginning, but it hasn't progressed.
she's had arthritis for 3 years now, can get up stairs pretty well {sometimes gets stuck a bit on the last of 12-14 stairs}, and is mostly only stumbly when she stands still {when she leans into people or has her legs very close together}.
her arthritis is always at it's worst in cold weather {and it varies between 8-25 degrees right now w/wind chill}. she can't go for walks in this weather {she can't be outside very long} and b/c she's also going senile, she forgets that we're playing after a few minutes and wanders off. i wait and when she returns to see me sitting on the floor she gets all excited again b/c she knows that means play. then she forgets again. it's so fragmented that we never get in a good play session.
lately i've had to spend a little more time away to take care of a foster cat w/separation anxiety {otherwise the cat will urinate on the floor at my boyfriends}. my dog never likes it when i'm gone.
what i can't tell is if she's just bored {well, i know she's getting bored} or if she's reaching the end and that's why she's being extra clingy. when my other dogs would reach "that time", they did the opposite and started spending more time alone. she has always been very dependent on me though.
does it sound like she needs more enrichment or is she telling me her time is coming to an end? and if i schedule a check up, would they really be able to tell me much?
i mean, her arthritis is the problem
and it always get's worse in january and february, then eases up again in march. i've just increased her supplements for it and it will be a few more weeks before i see the difference. if it's her time, i'll have her put down, but i'd feel horrible to do that if she's going to come around in a month anyway.

Readers' Answers (1)

Feb 02, 2010

I had an older dog that became very clingy the last few months of her life. She was getting senile and the vet suggested to me that she was sticking by me for comfort. She was not always recognizing my hubby and kids when they came home from work and school. I suppose it was because I was home with her all day. She became very anxious and upset if she couldn't find me. Her eyesight was also failing. It sounds like your dog may have similar issues. But when they are that old, they can also develop underlying health issues. Hope you figure it out.

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