To each of us, our pet will always be a puppy, but we still need to provide proper nutrition and care for our pet’s aging body. We’re all aware of the potential side effects of aging (similar to human aging) including heightened weight gain or loss, lethargy, vision or hearing loss as well as other internal complications like heart disease, arthritis, or urinary incontinence and diabetes. But how can we use nutrition to help prevent and control the side effects of aging?
First, always keep up with your pets’ regular veterinarian visits. Not all symptoms of aging or health decrease are noticeable. Your trusted veterinarian will be able to help monitor any changes in health and can offer advice on treatments, medications, or health & nutrition supplements as needed.
Every pet is different and will be advised based on their individual nutritional needs. Many older dogs without serious health issues may even still be able to continue with their regular diet and exercise as if they are a young adult. Some pets may require certain medicines to help with issues such as arthritis or diabetes. However, older dogs will need additional nutrients that are specific to their breed and health. Sometimes simply adjusting nutrition and diet can help prevent and control some of the most common aging symptoms:
- Heart Disease: lower sodium
- Kidney Disease: decrease in calories; additional protein
- Bowel issues: increased fiber
- Brain Disease or various cancers: Antioxidant Supplements
- Dental or Digestive Health: Adjusting to a softer or higher carbohydrate diet
Just like raising a child, your aging pet will undergo many changes. It is highly important to consistently monitor your pet’s health and nutrition, and take note of any odd behaviors. The best way to maintain your beloved pet’s health is to maintain a healthy diet, keep up with regular amounts of exercise (appropriate to your pet’s breed) and stay regular with visits to your trusted veterinarian. But remember, just like a fine wine or their human parent, a senior dog just gets better with age when they receive the proper tender love and care!
The Old Dog House is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Jacksonville, Florida, dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. At so many shelters, the age of a dog determines its chances of reaching the adoption floor to find a new forever home.As a result, many wonderful dogs are denied the ability to live out their lives in dignity, surrounded by love. The Old Dog House aims to enlighten the public to the joys of owning an older or senior dog through educational programs and to place rescued dogs into true forever homes through adoption programs. The dogs that come into the care of The Old Dog House will remain in our care until adopted. We rely solely on donations from the public to support our organization. 100% of donations received are used for the care and rehabilitation of the dogs at The Old Dog House. Every penny makes a difference and is greatly appreciated!