Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
For anyone who adopts a pet -- whether a puppy or an older dog -- there will come a time when you will be faced with caring for him or her into old age. There are steps you can take to help your pet age with grace and good health (much the same way humans need to!)
Here are three tips for helping your pet age healthfully:
- Be aware of any health issues that could arise. For different breeds, sizes and species, there are unique aging issues that arise, for example, in large breeds you see problems with their hips and joints. Other issues that face our aging pets are: obesity, dental issues, diminished ability to fight off infections, loss of muscle and/or bladder control, deterioration of skin and fur, arthritis.
- Feed your pet the right diet. You should be cognizant of this from the day you bring your pet into your home. The size and species and activity level of your pet will help determine the amount and kind of food she eats. If you have questions, read the labels on the bags of food you purchase and ask your vet for advice. Making sure your pet food includes beta-carotene and vitamin E can aid in elimination of free radicals which can cause damage to your pet’s body tissues and contribute to the signs of aging.
- Preventing obesity as your pet ages is crucial to his long-term health. As in humans as we age, if we move around less we tend to gain weight. If your pet is less active, you may want to consider cutting back on the amount of food you feed and even the kind of food. Keep your pet as active as possible to help prevent obesity. Protein is a must in your pet’s diet because even as your pet ages her need for protein doesn’t diminish. Protein in your pet’s diet helps keep his muscle mass.
Routine visits to your veterinarian are also crucial to your pet’s overall wellbeing. Ask your vet for advice on enhancing your pet’s quality of life and for advice you can implement to make his life easier as he ages.
Don’t forget to enter our BlogPaws Community photo contest. The theme this month is Celebrating Senior Pets. We are also hosting #BlogPawsChat on Twitter along this theme and giving away prizes to attendees.