It is a fact of life, all of us are getting older and that includes our pets. We all want our four-legged family members to live long and health lives so this blog will discuss a few general things that you can do to help your dog be healthy and happy for as long as possible.
1. Diet: We have a lot of people ask us if you should switch to a senior diet. Senior pet foods typically have a bit more protein to keep muscle healthy and tend to have more fiber to keep your dog regular. Should you switch? Possibly, but the ultimate diet should be the one that keeps your dog happy and active.
2. Weight Management: This goes without saying but a thinner dog is a healthier dog. Keeping your dog in good weight is paramount for health and combating some of the common older dog issues like arthritis.
3. Mobility: Keep your dog mobile; even a little bit of exercise a day can help with weight management, emotional health, and keeping muscle mass intact.
4. Veterinary Visits: Just like us, as a dog ages, your veterinary visits should become a lot more frequent. We recommend at least twice a year visits and blood work at least one a year. As veterinarians, we are getting better at recognizing diseases and treating them but early detection is the key.
5. Vigilance: No one knows your dog better than you do. We can tell when our pets are a little off. Don’t ignore your intuition. If you think your senior dog is having an issue or a problem, I strongly encourage you to have your pet looked at by a professional veterinarian.
6. Support: With aging comes a myriad of normal problems: mobility issues, vision issues, hearing issues, cognitive issues, etc. Many of these conditions can be helped with simple, over-the counter products and supplements including PawFriction. I recommend that you speak with your vet if you have any of these issues and they can point you in the direction with products that should be able to help.
So, that is a brief overview of things that you can do to help you senior pet live a better life. Unfortunately, one thing none of us can change is genetics, and that plays a big role in the health of our senior pets. Fortunately, medicine and diets are improving all the time and we hope that the years ahead will create many new therapies that improve our ability to fight the problems of aging.