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Specialized Care

Your 9 Essentials for Your Senior Dog’s Specialized Care

1. Dogs Are Living Longer: Get a Senior Support Game-plan NOW The SeniorDogPlaybook is a great place to start preparing for your dog’s senior years. No matter how old you dog now the time to begin is Right Now! If your dog is like most today he will live longer than ever thanks to advances in veterinary medicine. As your dog ages, he will begin to face a variety of conditions that can adversely affect his health and quality of life. Some of the conditions you may face with your dog include diabetes, kidney and liver disease, tumors and cancer, arthritis and other joint pain,obesity and thyroid conditions, as well as several dental disorders. It is essential that you monitor your senior dog’s health regularly and take the following steps to help prolong his quality life with the proper care. This is how you avoid regret down the road. Taking preventative measures now can keep your senior dog healthy much longer and avoid many common ailments. Consider a holistic-centered approach that includes nutrition, supplementation, an appropriate exercise regime and routine veterinary care are all key factors in a sound senior dog health care game plan.

2. Schedule regular veterinary examinations

This is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your dog healthy. When your puppy enters his senior years, you will want to step up your schedule of regular exams.  This check-ups are more important than ever. Senior care requires an completely different game plan that when he was in his puppy years. When the senior years come it is necessary to diagnose or delay the onset of disease; and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and osteoarthritis. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that  you senior dogs visit the veterinarian every six months for complete exams and laboratory testing.

3. Pay closer attention to changes: Working With Your Vet is the Key

During a senior dog health exam, your vet will have a series of questions about  any changes you have noticed in your dog’s behavior so take notes and keep track of the changes that are sure to come. Your veterinarian should perform a complete examination of all of your dog’s body systems. Laboratory testing is also a most in any senior exam.

Veterinarians will use laboratory results to help them understand your dog’s health. When your dog is healthy, laboratory tests provide a means to determine baseline” values. When your dog is sick, your vet is able to compare the “baseline” values and the current values.  Any changes in these laboratory test results, may signal the presence of an underlying disease. Lab tests frequently include: blood count, urinalysis, blood chemistry and parasite evaluation.

4. Be Prepared to Find, Face, & Fight signs of Common Senior Dog Health Ailments

Dogs can suffer from diabetes that can arise from a variety of causes including viruses, chronic pancreatitis, chronic small bowel inflammation, obesity, hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings) and some much more.  Please avoid the overload of carbohydrates, especially poor quality, which is no longer considered to be biologically appropriate, may contribute to many diseases including pancreatitis and diabetes. Therefore, the stakes are high and the demands become greater but that are all addressable with senior dog game plan. For many years we were all instructed to follow a very restricted protein diet for our senior. This was recommended for senior dogs as a preventive or management measure for kidney problems.

The latest research has actually determined that it is the quality rather than the quantity of protein that is the more effective approach. Be sure to avoid low-quality dog foods which are composed primarily of meat by-products including hide, hair, feathers and other unwholesome components that are difficult for the kidneys to process.   , low-end foods containing large amounts of chemical preservatives that load your dog’s system with unwanted toxins and which place an additional burden on your pooch’s aging liver and excretory system.

5. Look Out for Arthritis

You can manage your dog’s arthritis and joint problems with an appropriate exercise regime including gentle walking and swimming, if possible, to help maintain mobility. be prepared to use high-quality dog supplements since they can also provide relief without the dreaded toxicity and side effects of prescription medication. Make sure to select a quality dog bed which is very important and often ignored but is a real need by your pet.  Good senior parents always have a sound orthopedic dog bed solution. Your dog’s bed provides comfort and allows him to get the much-needed rest he needs to be at his best.

6. Avoid Obesity at All Cost

Obesity in dogs has risen to epidemic levels today. Irresponsible dog parents think overfeeding is an act of love when in reality it is exactly the opposite. You can prevent obesity in your pet with diet and exercise which is essential to their health. If you see sudden unexpected weight gain or loss investigate immediately and report it your vet in order to rule out an underlying health problem, involving thyroid complications or other serious diseases. Several conditions stemming from obesity are fast becoming the number top health problem for senior dogs.

7. Commit to Avoiding Dog Dental Disorders

Dental disorders can often be prevented by regular cleaning.  Develop this habit early. Using recreational raw beef marrow bones can be a wonderful way to keep the teeth clean,

Your veterinarian will want to consider what is appropriate for your senior because some vets prefer to stay away from raw, for the very young and old or immune-compromised pets. Make sure to check with your vet first. Providing consistent dental care at home may improve a senior dog’s overall health, especially if there is tartar build-up. Consider using dental wipes, durable chew toys or even baking soda & water paste applied to the teeth can all form part of your senior’s dental care plan.

8. Avoid overfeeding at all costs

Your older dog will benefit from a higher fiber, reduced calorie diet.  Obesity is most often the result of parent allowing reduced exercise and overfeeding; and is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Because older pets often have different nutritional needs you can not afford to ignor. It is a idea to check with your vet about switching to a high quality, age appropriate diet. Consider a hhigh-quality fish oil which is an effective addition to your dog’s diet and can help keep your senior dog’s skin and coat in great condition.

9. Become religious about Exercise for Senior Dogs

Just as it is with you, exercise should be a high priority aspect of preventive geriatric care for your senior. It is essential to keep your senior dog active every day as he gets older—if he is sedentary  most of the time or kept lying down, his body will deteriorate much sooner than he should. Jogging with your arthritic senior may not be a good idea, but swimming and other low-impact activities are great for any older dog with joint pain and arthritis. Your pooch needs to be kept mentally active and physically engaged so that he stays in top condition.

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