How to Keep Your Senior Pet Healthy

There are several things you can do to help keep your senior pet healthy.

As with people, pets are certainly living longer and healthier lives today.  There are several things that animal guardians can do to help their pets live as long as possible.  Certainly past middle age it is important to have proper veterinary physical exams at least twice yearly.  Given the high incidence of periodontal disease in pets, and the link of periodontal disease with other organ health issues of the heart, liver and kidneys, it is important to begin a proper at-home dental hygiene program at a young age.   Products such as C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste and PetzLife are two of my favorite at home dental products to use to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Many pets past middle age will often need proper dental exams and possibly ultrasonic teeth scaling to help remove unwanted plaque and bacteria from the teeth.  This often requires general anesthesia at the veterinarian, but there is also an increasing availability of anesthesia-free dental services now available.

Another important part of maintaining a healthy pet through the senior years is having annual to semi-annual blood and urine tests to make sure that all of the organs are functioning properly.  Probably the most critical aspect of helping a senior pet live longer is feeding a natural diet free of preservatives and byproducts.  Some of my favorite diets include PetGuard, Wysong, Halo and Nature’s Variety.

It is important to maintain an ideal body weight for pets, as well as allow proper access to sunlight and adequate exercise.  I often will recommend several nutritional supplements for senior pets, including probiotics and enzymes such as Naturvet Digestive Enzymes, antioxidants such as Proanthozone, and omega 3 fatty acids such as Nordic Naturals Pet omega 3 fatty acids.   Maintaining senior pets on year-round heartworm preventative, as well as some sort of external flea and tick control program is also important.

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9 Comments

  1. Based on my experience, the best way to take care of a senior dog is to provide high quality natural home made food and natural supplements as well. I’m sure supplements for your dog’s bones are helpful as well.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing. That is the way to go.

  3. I have a dog approxinately 8 years of age. She having a very bad time with her right hip, she’s experiencing alot of pain. I have heard that big dogs and her breed usually have a bad time with their hips and joints at an early age. She’s German-wire hair and brown Lab. I would like some kind of suggestion on the best hip and joint medication for her, that would take care of the pain and well as the repair, or to slow down the process of degenerative joint condition.

  4. I have a dog approximately 8 years of age. She is having a very bad time with her right hip, she’s experiencing alot of pain. I have heard that big dogs and her breed usually have a bad time with their hips and joints at an early age. She’s German-wire hair and brown Lab. I would like some kind of suggestion on the best hip and joint medication for her, that would take care of the pain as well as the repair, or to slow down process of degenerative joint condition.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I would start on multiple supplements, including super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds, as well as antioxidant proanthozone. Also add fatty acid like Super Pure Omega as well as natural supplement Yucca intensive. Try these first. If no help then see vet for evaluation and possibly prescription meds.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Answered above.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 14, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Try super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds as well as antioxidant proanthozone. Also add fatty acid like missing link to meals and use yucca intensive.

  8. Thanks for sharing such a nice information about how to keep healthy pet animals. The information given here is very helpful for me to keep my pets clean

  9. My Lab, Molly celebrated her 16th birthday 9 weeks ago! She has arthritis,but is doing ok. Every day is a gift

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