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Coton Connection, Issue #045 - Your Aging Coton
February 10, 2015
Welcome Coton Lovers:

Living with your older Coton

There was a recent post to the website asking advice about caring for a senior dog. It dawned on me that we spend a lot of time talking about puppies, but very little about our aging dogs. It’s the hardest part of being a pet owner; watching the dog you love show signs of slowing down and aging. It's a reminder that their physical time with us is limited.

According to the ASPCA, a small breed dog like the Coton is considered a senior when it’s just 7 years old. Yikes – that means Luc is a senior. How did that happen? The time goes so fast. If I have to be honest, he is showing some signs that he’s getting older - not being able to jump on the bed without a stepping stool and needing help getting in and out of the car.

The Coton averages a lifespan of 14-17 years, and I’m sure you want those years to be as happy and healthy as possible. Awareness is key. It’s hard to notice changes in someone you see every day since the changes usually come about slowly. Notice any changes in your dog – big or small. Are there changes to eating or drinking habits? Is he moving slower? Does he seem more anxious?

    Here are some tips to help your Coton transition into the senior years smoothly.

  • As your Coton gets older it becomes even more important to have a thorough exam every year in order to prevent any unnecessary health issues down the road. Basic diagnostic tests (blood, urine, hearing, and vision) can help evaluate whether medical intervention is necessary.

  • Make sure your dog gets enough water. Awareness is the key; give enough to hydrate and keep his body functioning properly, but notice if he is drinking too much because this can be a sign of kidney problems or diabetes.

  • If you live in extremely hot or cold climates, make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible. In the heat, don't let your dog stay out or over-exercise. Make sure he has access to plenty of water while he's out in the heat. In the cold, your older dog can be much more sensitive to the cooler air than he was when he was younger. Don't let him stay out too long and you may want to keep him warm with a sweater or snow boots.

  • It’s important to reduce stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines with an older Coton. Dogs aren’t any different than people – change can be very nerve-racking.

  • If you have to leave your pet alone for any period of time, have someone he knows and trusts come and take care of him. Older dogs may need more attention than young ones so it's not advisable to leave them alone too long. If you have to board your dog, get him used to the kennel/dog sitter by taking him for short trips to the kennel/sitter BEFORE you have to leave so he's not left alone in a strange place with strange people.

  • Understand the dietary needs of your older Coton. High fat foods and dairy like milk and cheese can cause weight gain and digestive problems as your dog ages. Feeding table scraps can be more of a problem for older dogs who get less exercise. Many dog foods on the market are geared toward seniors and take into account the right amount of easy to digest protein, vitamins, fat content, and calories. Ask your vet for recommendations for switching dog food and make sure you gradually incorporate new foods to minimize upset stomachs.

  • Are you taking care of your Coton’s teeth? Did you know that good dental hygiene can actually help your dog live longer? There are many products on the market to help you care for your dog’s teeth. You can also schedule a dental cleaning at your dog's vet.

  • Exercise is not just for puppies; dogs need regular exercise at every age. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, aid in digestion, improve joint flexibility, and keep him stimulated and happy. Daily walks can do wonders for your dog, but remember to reduce the intensity of exercise as he gets older. Always make sure to provide lots of water and monitor your dog for signs of stress or fatigue.

  • Supplements can be a helpful solution if your dog is showing symptoms of joint pain. Work with your vet for solutions to ease any pain your dog may be having.

Do you have any tips on helping your aging Coton? Or do you have a question about your senior dog? You can add your ideas and concerns here.


If you'd like your Coton to receive recognition in next month's newsletter, contact me on my contact page, or at

Happy Birthday Wishes:

Happy Birthday to all our Coton friends who celebrate birthdays in January and February:


Name Gender Home Town Birth date
Seminole Female Pensacola, FL 1/1/11
Bevo Male Woodlands, TX 1/3/12
Bailey Male Grayslake, IL 1/5/11
Theodore Male Canada 1/5/11
Kyra Female Rocklin, CA 1/7/12
Cassi Female 1/8/10
Olivia Female Leominster, MA 1/9/09
Eleana Female Leominster, MA 1/9/09
Angelique Female San Diego, CA 1/9
Truffle Female Las Vegas, NV 1/10/10
Naya Female Santa Rosa, CA 1/10/10
Emma Female 1/11/11
Dottie Female Plainwell, MI 1/12/14
Athena Female 1/15/10
Wishes Female Tumwater, WA 1/16/12
Mirabella Female Columbus, OH 1/17/05
Barney Male Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 1/18/11
Gleason Male Centereach, NY 1/18/13
Barkley Male 1/23/10
Quinn Westland, MI 1/23/13
Candy Female Kirkwood, MO 1/26/11
Coco Female 1/27/08


Name Gender Home Town Birth date
Katinka Joy Female North Bethesda, MD 2/2/12
Betty Female Middletown, MD 2/3/12
Mac Male 2/7/09
Calliope Female Lancaster, NY 2/7/10
Palin Female Sun Valley, CA 2/8/10
Alexia (Lexi) Female Powder Springs, GA 2/8/11
Jasmine Female Pittston Township, PA 2/9/09
Austin Male Hilo, HI 2/9/11
Toby Male Palmyra, NY 2/10/11
Manju Male Illinois 2/10/11
Pixie-Dust Male Wilts, United Kingdom 2/11/11
Prince Male Bear, DE 2/11/13
Zorro Male Laguna Hills, CA 2/13/08
Tank Male Quincy, MA 2/18/11
Jazzy Female Nashville, TN 2/18/11
Bella Female Oceanside, NY 2/21/11
Louie Male 2/21/07
Surf Male Half Moon Bay, CA 2/21/11
Jasper Male Oakland, CA 2/29/08

Want your Coton to get special birthday attention? It's easy; just join our Birthday Club.

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Gale and Luc

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