How to Ensure a Dog Ages Gracefully

Dogs begin to slow down and deteriorate in health as they become older. Old age in dogs begins during the eighth year of life for many breeds. Even if a dog is still acting youthful in its older years, preventative care will help the pet to continue to stay in good health. Many health problems can be prevented or delayed through attentive care that is provided by the owner. A veterinarian should be consulted for any supplements or exercise programs to ensure that they will do each specific animal more good than harm.

Regular Exercise
Exercise is important for every human and animal. It stretches the muscles, keeps bones and joints from becoming fragile, contributes to cardiovascular health, and is critical for weight maintenance. A dog should be walked every day as well as allowed plenty of time in a dog run or with toys that encourage activity. If a dog is not particularly energetic, a mandatory daily walk will help.

Supplements for Joint Health and Arthritis
The aging process includes developing fragile joints that may cause more and more pain as the dog gets older. This pain is commonly known as arthritis, resulting in sore, swollen, and painful joints. Stretching and mild activity can help to loosen the joints and lower pain levels. In addition, dogs will need special supplements and potentially pain medicines to keep these health issues under control. Cetyl myristoleate for dogs is commonly used to support joint health and reduce the effects of aging joints.

Strict Proper Diet
Without a proper diet, a dog’s health can quickly turn for the worst. Dog food should contain proper amounts of all necessary nutrients and vitamins. In addition, meat products should come first in the ingredients list. Any reputable dog food will not have corn or other grains listed as the first ingredient. Specialty weight control formulas are important for overweight dogs; an overweight dog could become diabetic, riddled with heart and joint problems, and could face an early death.

Regular Veterinary Exams
Regular veterinary check ups help to catch health problems early. As a dog ages, check ups should be performed once every six months rather than annually. A veterinarian can give helpful advice regarding diet, activity, and any special accommodations or prescriptions that the animal might need.

Dogs are wonderful pets, but they will need closer attention from their owners as they age. Man’s best friend can live a full, healthy life with the proper care of an owner. A little help from the veterinarian goes a long way.

 

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