5 Ways to Keep Your Older Dog Healthy

older dogs senior dogs

Your beautiful companion who has shared your love for many years is getting older. Of course, you love your senior dog, and it’s a sad fact of life that you will one day have to say goodbye to your beautiful friend but you will do what you can to see that your companion lives as long and as happy as possible.

So here are our top FIVE tips to aid in the longevity and continuing the good health for the large majority of dogs. Dogs share commonality with humans in regards to their health management, my doctor is always taking me to task during my regular (well yearly ) check up about these same 5 health management issues, and it’s really no different for your senior dog.

 

#1 – Preventive Veterinary Care and Regular check-ups.

A veterinarian needs to see your dog when things are normal to establish a baseline as she grows older and becomes more likely to have a health problem. The vet will examine parts of your dog you would not think to check. Same as us mere mortal humans the value of preventive care cannot be overemphasized. You can help here by checking over your senior do on a regular basis. If you notice anything unusual such as lumps and bumps, skin rashes etc, a vet check wouldn’t hurt if you’re concerned. The vast majority of lumps and bumps on your dog are harmless, but you never know. Older dogs are more prone to tumors that must be checked out and a multitude of disorders that must be managed. A thorough physical exam and diagnostic testing

Older dogs are more prone to tumors that should be checked out and the varied range of ailments can be managed by your Vet. Who can conduct a thorough physical exam and diagnostic testing for peace of mind. It is in many ways sad that the Vet fee structure doesn’t really encourage great animal care as the costs of treatment are sometimes prohibitive, second opinions are always encouraged, sadly we must understand that Vets have businesses to run and you need to be sure that the Vet is treating your loyal companion and not your back pocket.

#2 – Nutrition

High-quality diets are never cheap, but just because your dog’s food has a  high price tag alone does not mean that it is the best quality. Don’t just pick the brand whose name you recognize because of ad campaigns, those campaigns are designed to entice you to buy their product. The only way you can have certainty is by doing some research, we are working on putting together some information which we hope will help, so stay tuned. Of course, the concern here is that nutritionists, tend to change their minds on what is good for your dog, the same things apply to their owners, one day something that is diabolically bad for you is the next super food. Just remember your companion has the anatomy and digestive system of a canine and not a human, we all know that what may be harmless for us humans to eat, may, in fact, be a poisonous substance for your dog.

#3 – Exercise

Exercise is critical to keep things moving well, great for the cardiovascular system, exercise helps keep the muscles functioning nicely, keeps the blood vessels and arteries limber through the increase and decrease in pressure that blood flow changes make and helps maintain bone strength and density.

However physical exercise is just one component of the healthy formula and is not the not the only part. Your dog’s mind must be kept active. Find activities that are new and different. Devise games that make your companion exercise their brain. Puzzle toys are great at stimulating the mind and rewarding thought and exercise. Your dog’s body follows the “use it or lose it” theory just like yours. Encourage and stimulate you dogs use of their body and muscles and use their mind to help stay sharp and fit. Physical and mental activity is critical to lasting health.

#4 – Avoid Obesity or being overweight

Studies show that being obese or overweight can reduce the time your dog gets to spend with you by almost 2 years of your dog’s life.Being overweight takes a toll on your pet’s joints and longevity. Think of your pet’s weight as balancing act between input and output. When he takes in more, he has to burn off more. Do you know how much he really needs? The easiest way is

Being overweight can be a contributor to dog cancers and the extra weight does take a toll on your dog’s joints, comfort, and freedom of movement and longevity. Think of your pet’s weight as balancing act between input and output. Like human the more we eat the more we need to burn off. The easiest way is

If you’re unsure as to how much to feed your dog, your vet will be able to provide some advice, and they will calculate for you what your dog’s calorie guidelines should be would be. There are also a number of guides available on the internet, and we are currently looking at providing guidance in the weeks and months to come.

#5 – Good Dental health

A number of serious illnesses are now being traced back to poor dental health in humans, such as human heart diseases and we are now starting to realize the importance of good dental health to the senior dog. Not only is dental disease very painful, but chronic infection and immune stimulation are bad for your dog’s health. As dog’s age, they often need an even more meticulous dental hygiene program, including at–home tooth care and regular professional dental cleanings. These should always be performed under general anesthesia overseen by a licensed veterinarian. Anesthesia should always be preceded by blood screenings and such tests (done as pre-dental screens) have revealed many disease processes in the earliest stage, an early diagnosis means early treatment which may be able to stop the disease from progressing.

My Golden Retriever has undergone 2 expensive teeth cleaning sessions, performed by the Vet, and now that he’s getting older I’m terrified that putting him under a general anesthetic to get his teeth cleaned could result in him not surviving the procedure.

I now use 3 methods to assist in my dog’s dental health, the first is to add a dental care formulated dry dog food into his diet, I use Royal Canin Dental , and as a special treat I also like to use DeantaStix, and raw brisket bones, he really looks forward to them as a treat. The dental toys I would recommend include the Mix Mart Chew Toy for Dogs.

I’m also a fan of the Nylabone Dental Chew , and back it up by brushing his teeth with  QINF Toothpaste and Toothbrush Cleaning Suit. It took a bit to get him used to it, but eventually, he took it on board, he’s such a good boy, ( most of the time ). Check out our other blogs for good dental hygiene management for your dog.

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