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Supportive Health Care for Aging Pets

By Taylor Smith

Dogs and cats are typically considered “senior” when they reach 7 years of age. Depending on individual health, older pets may require more frequent exams to monitor any changes in health status.

While it is recommended that all pets receive annual bloodwork, senior pets may also require testing for the following symptoms: changes in appetite (both increased and decreased), changes in thirst (particularly increased thirst), increased urination, changes in bowel movements, limping, stiffness (taking longer to sit down or stand up), restlessness at night, decreased general movement, and increased sleeping. Therefore, as your pets age, it might be better to make frequent consultations with a veterinarian similar to this vet in Northern Liberties, so that if there is a developing problem, it could be caught early.

Furthermore, keep in mind that what’s normal for one pet, may not be normal for another. This difference is not just true for animals of different species, like dogs, cats, or lizards, but also true for different families of the same species. As dog breeds change, their health, behavior, and habits change. If you have a havanese dog, then their diet, habits, and temperament will definitely be different from that of a labrador or beagle. Only you, as the owner, understand what is truly typical and atypical of your loyal companion. For cats, this could mean a noticeable loss of balance, inability to jump on the furniture, or cognitive disorientation. Such subtle symptoms may be indicative of an emerging issue.

One ailment common to many senior dogs is osteoarthritis, a gradual deterioration of the cartilage that covers the joints. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight, along with supplementing their diet with omega 3 fatty acids, curcumin, and collagen, may provide some natural relief from stiff joints. If you are interested in learning what other important nutrients your dog needs in his/her diet, you could contact a Dog Trainer Southampton. They could help you create a perfect and healthy food plan for your pet. However, you should consult your veterinarian before introducing new supplements and food to your pooch.

Besides these methods mentioned above, growing in popularity among pet owners are CBD products (note that such products can be purchased from here), that have active cannabinoid compounds derived from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants. The non-psychoactive oil has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effect on senior pets. Potentially, CBD can be used to treat inflammation, arthritis/joint pain, seizures, digestive problems, anxiety/stress, and pain. Owners should consult with their veterinarian before administering any supplements to their furry friends.

Lastly, routine dental care can significantly extend your pet’s lifetime. The chief reason is that as pets age, their immune systems weaken and they are less able to effectively fight off disease and infection. Bacteria that settles in the gums can easily enter your pet’s bloodstream and pose a risk. For example, plaque and tartar buildup may calcify, inflaming the gums and resulting in periodontal disease. Non-invasive methods of care like finger-brushing (as little as once per week) and dental chews (Greenies Dental Treats is a recommended brand), are worthwhile additions to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.

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