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Aging Pets and Their Health

sad sleepy old dog who just wants some pets

 

Getting older can sometimes be painful and not very fun for us or our pets. There are many signs and symptoms that your pet can show if they are in discomfort. Here are a few tips on how to help your pet stay healthy and happy.

Signs Your Pet is in Discomfort or Sick

Dogs tend to suffer in silence. They have an incredibly high threshold for pain so it can be difficult to tell when your pooch is in discomfort.

Common Signs of Pain & Discomfort

  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Pet becomes disorientated or confused easily
  • Anxiety
  • Starts to become distant or become aggressive towards others
  • Lack of bladder or bowel control
  • Increased irritability

Common Signs of Cancer in Pets

  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Consistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fluctuation in weight
  • Swelling of the abdomen or other body parts
  • Lumps, bumps or other visible masses or tumors
  • Struggling to eat or breathe
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings

Common Signs of Arthritis & Other Joint Pain

  • Weight gain
  • Favoring a limb
  • Sleeping more and reduced interest in activity or play
  • Having difficulty sitting or standing
  • Nervous to use stairs or jump
  • Behavior changes
  • Visible pain when joints are touched

 

pet dog at the vet not looking happy pets in pain

How can I protect my pet?

Providing a fully balanced diet and sufficient exercise for the breed, will greatly improve the lives of pets. It is estimated that 60% of Canadian pets are overweight or obese. This actually decreases a pet’s life expectancy. We love our pets and love to spoil them but all those extra treats are doing more harm than good. Here are a few tips on how to maintain a healthy weight through nutrition and exercise for your aging pet.

Exercise for Cats
Even though cats are usually pretty sedentary, they need exercise as well! Cats can be trained on a leash and it is a great way for them to burn off energy and stay fit. Laser pointers are also fantastic at exercising our feline friends. Very few cats like water but if they do, swimming is a perfect form of exercise for aging cats.

Exercise for Dogs
The best exercise for an aging dog is swimming. It relieves pressure on their joints and builds muscle to protect joint injury. Dog parks make it easy for dogs to friends and getting plenty of exercise. Make sure to research the dog breed. Some breeds require a lot more exercise (Like an Australian Cattle Dog) and some breeds require very little (Like a Basset Hound).

Nutrition

Nutrition is key to a healthy aging pet and it’s hard to know what is the best diet to feed them. Dogs have evolved from wolves and wolves are carnivores. Through years and years of breeding, we have hundreds of dog breeds. It is true, dogs are incredibly adaptable, especially when it comes to food. Cats are also obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat to survive, and require a certain amount of fats and proteins in their diets. So what do we feed them? Raw food? Kibble? wet food? There are so many options out there but as long as your cat or dog is getting the daily nutrients they need, they will be happy and healthy. Make sure to read food labels to ensure the nutrition levels meet your pets needs.

List of Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet for cats and dogs include: Vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B6, B12, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, choline, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iodine.

Here is a nutrition guide for dogs for daily recommended allowances (based on a 33 pound dog): http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/banr/miscellaneous/dog_nutrition_final_fix.pdf

Here is a nutrition guide for cats for daily recommended allowances (based on a 9 pound cat): http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/booklets/cat_nutrition_final.pdf 

 

If you notice any of the symptoms above arise, get your pet to the vet as soon as possible. Although, with cancers in pets, there can be little to no symptoms showing. The best prevention is to get yearly check-ups with the vet. NaturPet’s Multi-Minerals helps to fill in the gaps of nutrition. It contains herbs that natural have a complete balance of vitamins and minerals. For aging joints, NaturPet’s Joint Care is perfect as a preventative tool as well as relief from arthritis. Another great product for senior pets is NaturPet’s Vital Energy. It helps aging pets improve mental alertness, reduces confusion and calms anxiety. It also boosts the immune system and supports bone health. With proper grooming (yes, pet’s teeth DO need to be brushed too!), diet and exercise, aging pets can live a happy, healthy life.

Johanna
Johanna

She has been with NaturPet since February 2017 and has her Pet First Aid. Using her knowledge of pet health, she has created social media posts and blogs on the subject. Her free time is spent volunteering at a local Dog Daycare called Furrever Unleashed, having a nice cold beer with her Fiancé and hanging out with her friends and family and her new puppy, Bandito.

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