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Dog Arthritis: My Dog Isn’t a Senior! Is He?

 

Dog Arthritis: My Dog Isn’t a Senior! Is He?

For all of us, growing old is inevitable and even if we try to slow down the aging process, we tend to notice the new grey hair that has sprouted up, the fine lines that will end in wrinkles, and perhaps a little bit more of a struggle getting up off the coach.  But when it comes to our dogs, we often don’t recognize the signs of aging until they have matured well into their golden years.  Dogs reach senior status earlier than most of us suspect.  Giant breeds like Great Danes, reach senior status by age five.  Large breeds like Labrador Retrievers can be seniors by age six.  Almost all dogs have reached senior citizen status by the age of seven.  It seems like our puppies have just stopped nipping at our heels by the time they are considered fully matured.  The accelerated rate in which your dog matures, requires a hands on approach from you, their pet parent.

You should work with a veterinarian in which you trust, to set up a preventative healthcare system for your pup.  As your dog ages, he may become susceptible to various diseases and ailments, such as arthritis and heart disease.  It is beneficial to find a vet that will see your dog through all stages of his life, knowing him very well by the time he reaches his geriatric years.  Your veterinarian may want to run geriatric screening on your dog, which involves a hands-on evaluation and diagnostic tests to determine any course of action that may be needed.

Your veterinarian may suggest food that is formulated specifically for senior dog’s needs.  As dogs grow older, and slow down in their activity levels, they tend to gain weight.  They usually do not need the amount of calories or protein that is in normal or adolescent dog food.  Senior dogs, because their digestive systems are slowing down as well, need more fiber in their diet.  The fiber will help them to feel full while eating less, as well as help them to eliminate the food in a timely manner.  Many vets recommend feeding senior dogs two smaller portions daily, instead of one big meal.  If you dog has the opposite problem and has lost all interest in food (with no medical issue warranting this behavior), then you may want to try feeding him smaller kibbles.  You can also add water or a good quality wet food to their kibbles to soften the foods consistency.  Some senior dogs that have developed periodontal disease have a difficult time chewing food without experiencing pain or sensitivity. 

Your senior dog needs to maintain a moderate exercise routine.  He may not be pulling you down the street anymore on your walks, but it essential to implement some form of activity.  Walking or swimming are extremely beneficial and do not place large amounts of stress on your aging canine.  Many veterinarians suggest that your dog be given a Glucosamine supplement, even before reaching old age, to help keep their joints in good health.  Glucosamine, such as Synflex®, promotes healthy joints by maintaining the cartilage that wears away through the years and fighting further degeneration.  Synflex® liquid Glucosamine can easily be put on your dog’s dinner kibbles or can be placed directly in his mouth with an “eye-dropper.” It is critical to try and avoid arthritis in your dog, if possible, to ensure they remain pain free in their days of retirement.

And remember a little love goes a long way, so spend a little more time with your pup.  You’ll both be happy you did.

You also might be interested in:

» Osteoarthritis in Cats and the Warning Signs
» Does Your Pet Exhibit Osteoarthritis Symptoms?
» Your Pets Arthritis Risk
» Arthritis and Your Dog
» Keeping your Dog Healthy
» Glucosamine in Pet Food
» The Aging of Your Dog and the Need for Glucosamine
» Arthritis in Labradors
» Cats and Arthritis
» Glucosamine Supplements for Pets
» Truth Behind Prescription Pet Drugs
» Arthritis in your Pet
» Glucosamine for Pets
» Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease in Cats
» Types of Canine Arthritis
» Determining the Health of Your Senior Cat
» Arthritis and Your Pets
» Veterinarians’ Recommendation of Glucosamine Use for Pets is on the Rise
» Common Types of Feline Arthritis
» Hip Dysplasia: Cats are Affected Too!
» Glucosamine is Beneficial in the Joint Health of All Dogs
» Arthritis Checklist for Pets
» Supplements to Fight Arthritis in Pets
» Does your Dog have Arthritis?
» What to Expect as our Dogs Age
» Arthritis and Aging Pets
» Good Health Habits For Your Pets May Benefit You As Well
» Is Arthritis Pain Causing Depression in Your Pet?
» Laxity in Hip Joint is Identified as Risk Factor For Canine Arthritis
» Progressive Polyarthritis and Calicivirus
» Pet food and arthritis
» Mimiced Arthritis Symptoms In Your Dog?
» Luxating Patella
» Pet Arthritis and Acupuncture
» Glucosamine and Chondroitin againgst Hip Dysplasia
» Arthritis in pets and Acupuncture
» Hydrotherapy Drowns Arthritis Pain In Your Dog
» Cat arthritis
» Arthritis and Big Dogs
» Review all posts

 

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