Suggestions for the Senior Pet:
- Physical examinations twice a year with your veterinarian will help prevent and diagnose disease.
A yearly "wellness" blood and urine test beginning at 7 years will help detect problems and measure any changes over time.
- Regular dental examinations will help maintain healthy teeth and gums
- Older dogs are less adaptable - avoid exposing your senior dog to extremes of heat and cold
- Your dog may have impaired vision and hearing so keep it out of harm's way
- Educate friends and family about your aging pets' special needs
- When changing to a new diet, gradually introduce the new food by mixing it with the previous food over a 5-7 day period
- Feeding left-over food, kitchen scraps or additional supplements with a complete dog food can cause a nutrient imbalance and lead to obesity.
- Avoid feeding your dog before or immediately after exercise.
- Meals should be given to the dog in a quiet place.
- Older pets are prone to dehydration, so ensure a source of clean water is available at all times.
A proper senior diet can have a big impact on older pet's well-being. Healthy older animals should have some modifications to their diet to help maintain optimum health
- Moderate intake of high quality protein will help maintain muscle and bodily functions while minimizing the workload of the kidneys in excreting protein waste products.
- A gentle increase in fiber will help keep your pet regular and minimize the likelihood of constipation
- Controlled sodium and mineral levels will help reduce the possibilities of hypertension and bladder stone formation.
- Additional B vitamins and potassium help ensure adequate uptake and avoid deficiencies
- Proper fatty acid types and amounts help promote excellent skin and coat quality. These same fatty acids are believed to play a beneficial role in the heart, kidney and joint health.
- Additional vitamin E and Beta-Carotene may reduce free radical damage and help prevent certain disease conditions.
- Proper type and amount of fiber, fructo-oligosaccharides and glutamine help maintain an optimal stool quality and benefit bowel health to reduce the likelihood of bacterial overgrowth and diarrhea.
- Additional amino acids and L-carnitine may improve intestinal and heart health.
- High palatability keeps your pet happy and in good condition.
- In dogs, the addition to glucosamine to diet will help in the management of arthritis.
There are several new products on the market these days which will help your dog with mobility and stability - check with your vet for a recommendation.