diet for older dog

Older Dog Health Problems – Common Health Problems Facing Senior Dogs

 

Like all animals, as dogs age they tend to develop health problems unique to older dogs. Many dog owners have a difficult time accepting this fact and think that their lively pooch is not an older dog and will not have health problems.
older dog nutrition

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Dogs can, however, show signs of aging as early as seven years old. Older dog health problems generally affect larger breeds earlier than small breeds that tend to show signs of aging around 10 to 12 years of age. The fact is that senior dog health problems will eventually be a concern for every dog owner.

Common Health Problems Facing Older Dogs

All dogs are different and, depending on their size, breed and activity level, will exhibit health problems differently. However, there are common health issues that may manifest in all senior dogs including the following:

Joint and bone problems
-An overall reduction in their metabolism
-Difficulty with their eyes and ears
-Liver and kidney dysfunctions
-Skin becomes thin and less pliable while the coat becomes mottled and patchy
-Problems with teeth and gums

Unlike a little puppy who has an endless supply of energy, an older dog will tend to slow down and take longer to lay down or stand up. Instead of bounding up the stairs your senior dog might take each stair one at a time.

Your dog may develop arthritis, an inflammation of the joints causing pain and discomfort, which is generally the cause of this slowing down. There are a host of anti-inflammatory drugs that your veterinarian can suggest to reduce the discomfort caused by arthritis.

In many cases, an older dog will have problems with their eyes as they develop cataracts or even glaucoma. A cataract will become obvious to the owner as the eyes have a cloudy appearance and tend to reflect light. Senior dogs may also develop glaucoma, an increased amount of pressure on the eyes, and can cause more serious problems if left untreated.

The entire circulation system and many of the major organs are taxed in older dogs. The heart, lungs, liver and kidneys all become less efficient and the immune systems can become weak and vulnerable to viruses and bacteria.

Serious health problems may develop in your senior dog as some of the symptoms develop gradually. It is your responsibility to maintain your older dog’s health and remain informed of the possible senior dog health problems that commonly arise.

Helping Your Older Dog Overcome Health Problems

As an aging dog inevitably develops health problems, you can help alleviate many of the symptoms and keep your pet comfortable. The most basic thing you can do is simply pay more attention to your senior dog making sure you’re aware of the changes taking place. Brush your dog’s coat daily and ask your vet if there are special shampoos to help with her skin and coat. Spend time rubbing your hands on his coat feeling for bumps or lesions.

Be patient when your dog needs a little extra time walking up the stairs or jumping up into the car. Make sure you make regular visits to your vet and stay current on vaccinations. Brush your senior dog’s teeth regularly and have them professionally cleaned occasionally. Provide regular exercise while also making adjustments needed for your dog as she ages.

As your older dog slows down, you might have to adjust her diet to help compensate for the reduction of energy for both her weight as well as her coat and her circulation system.

Not only must the overall calorie intake be reduced, but you can also feed your senior dog specially formulated foods made to fit their particular needs. Try to purchase the most expensive, best quality food you can afford and avoid greasy table scraps.

It’s an inevitable fact that dogs age, but you can make a difference in helping your older dog overcome health problems. Keep in mind that in the last eighty years or so the average lifespan of dogs has increased from 7 years to 12. Expanding your knowledge and paying attention to your dogs health will help ensure your dog lives a long and comfortable life.

Large Dog Breed Information – For more older dog health problem related information

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Is There a Difference in a Senior Dog Diet?

You hate to admit it, but your furry pal is getting a little older.  You would like to make sure that your pet is happy and healthy for many years to come.  You have probably heard all of the hype concerning the new dog diets for older pets.  Is there really a distinction between dog food for adult dogs and kibble suggested specifically for seniors?  How do you know when to switch your pet to a completely different diet?

The most effective resource for information about dog diets is your pet’s veterinarian.  Only you and your vet understand the precise desires of your pet the best.  Discuss along with your vet your issues and questions.  She or he can be in a position to advise you on what changes, if any, need to be made to your dog’s diet.

If your older dog does not have any health problems and maintains a healthy weight, there is no need to alter your dog’s diet from adult to senior dog food.  On the other hand, if your dog has hassle keeping the weight off or digestive issues, you may need to switch.  If weight is the only issue, think about slightly lowering the amount of dog food you give to your pet.  This could be all the change your dog’s diet requires.

A senior dog is classed as a dog in the last third of their life span.  Larger dogs, for example a Great Dane, live to be around 9 years old.  In the sixth year of life, you’ll need to consider a senior dog’s diet.  A poodle, on the other hand wouldn’t reach senior status until  about age 10 thanks to the longer life expectancy.  The decision to vary your dog’s diet should be primarily based on health condition rather than actual age in years.  Your vet can help you to determine when the correct time is to change your dog’s diet.

Dog food especially prepared for senior dogs sometimes has less calories.  This helps to combat any weight issues.  The senior dog food additionally contains a lot of fiber for the different needs in your dog’s diet.  As dogs age, they have an inclination to suffer from constipation.  This additional fiber will help remedy this problem.

Renal failure will be another medical problem for senior dogs.  How can your dog’s diet facilitate this drawback?  Reducing the quantity of protein in your dog’s diet will decrease the work load for the kidneys.  For this reason, senior dog food frequently has lower protein content than regular adult formulas.

Whenever possible, allow your dog to eat dry dog food to encourage superior dental health.  The dry kibble helps to cut back plaque and tartar buildup.  If your older pet refuses to eat the food dry, you’ll want to moisten it with water or purchase moist, canned varieties.

If your vet recommends, supplements may be helpful as part of your senior dog’s diet.  Some pets are unable to eat properly because of oral issues.  Other older pets are unable to collect all of the nutrients from their food for varied health reasons.  Supplements such as daily vitamins and glucosamine will be helpful to maintaining a healthy diet for your dog.

Glucosamine helps to encourage joint health.  For senior dogs, glucosamine can combat arthritis and hip displasia.

Vitamins C, A, and E might prevent the natural aging process and encourage better health for senior dogs.  Speak to your vet about adding such supplements to your dog’s diet.

You would like what is best for your pet.  Your senior dog wants to have a diet that meets their special nutritional requirements.  You and your vet can work together to come to a decision what is the most effective diet for your senior dog.  Your dog’s diet directly affects his or her health.  Take care of your pet by monitoring your dog’s diet closely with the help of your veterinarian.

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