Helping Senior/Aging Pets
As better foods and medical and surgical advances are made, pets are indeed living well into their golden senior years. Thus, there are a growing number of geriatric pets. Depending upon the size of the pet, the average sized pet is considered entering the geriatric years at approximately the age of 7 or 8. With large or giant breed dogs, we can perhaps lower this age to 5 or 6.
There are many suggestions I can give to animal guardians to keep senior pets living long and healthy lives. Certainly feeding a healthy preferably natural or proper home made diet tops my list and recommendations. Diets like Halo or Nature’s Variety Instinct are certainly wonderful alternatives to a proper home made diet. Feeding fresh minimally processed diets goes a long way toward preventing or slowing down development of many geriatric diseases. As Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, “Let food by thy medicine.” If your senior pet has a pre-existing liver or kidney condition, then a consultation with a veterinarian is always recommended before changing or starting a new diet.
Certainly twice yearly semiannual exams and bloodwork/urine testing allow veterinarians to detect early disease so as to institute the best possible treatment. Especially if a senior pet is drinking or urinating more than usual, or suffering from a change in appetite or weight, such workups are recommended. Given the high incidence of dental disease in senior pets, if possible some sort of at home dental care should be tried, including some of the great C.E.T. products available from 1800petmeds. If blood work checks out ok it is often great to supplement with antioxidants such as Proanthozone and excellent quality vitamins such as Super VitaChews, Omega 3 fatty acids such as those from Nordic Naturals or if appropriate joint supplements such as super joint enhancer or the Glyco-Flex products. If a pet is suffering from progressive debilitating weakness or stiffness of the limbs, 1800PetMeds now has available various orthopedic beds, steps and ramps, in addition to strollers which is helpful for long walks in pets with severe spinal or degenerative joint disease.