Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.
Small dogs become “old” at age 7, while larger breed dogs are geriatric around age 6. Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as:
- heart disease
- kidney/urinary tract disease
- liver disease
- joint or bone disease
While these illnesses may be upsetting, many are treatable with proper medical care. Talk to your veterinarian about how to care for your older pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets require increased attention, including more frequent visits to the veterinarian, possible changes in diet, and in some cases alterations to their home environment. Here are some basic considerations when caring for older pets:
- Geriatric pets should have semi-annual veterinary visits instead of annual visits so signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated. Senior pet exams are similar to those for younger pets, but are more in depth, and may include dental care, possible bloodwork, and specific checks for physical signs of diseases that are more likely in older pets.
- Older pets’ immune systems are not as healthy as those of younger animals; as a result, they can’t fight off diseases or heal as fast as younger pets
- Geriatric pets often need foods that are more readily digested, and have different calorie levels and ingredients, and anti-aging nutrients
If you have noticed any changes in your pet or you are just looking for a way to keep your pet healthy, you may be considering supplements as a regular course of treatment for your pet. According to the AVMA, a third of all U.S. households with dogs use supplements, as do about a fifth of households with cats, according to a report on pet supplements from market research source Packaged Facts.
Two-thirds of pet owners stated that they purchased at least some of their supplements from a veterinarian, according to the report. How often pet owners consult veterinarians about supplements is another matter.
We recommend that you consult with your vet before purchasing any supplements to ensure that there may be a benefit to your pet. Some vets may recommend that you supplement with antioxidants to support long-term health. Certain supplements can promote immune support and antioxidant protection in dogs to support healthy aging.
If you are looking for a supplement that is designed to support healthy aging, promotes optimal wellness in senior dogs, is holistic, has no artificial ingredients, and has earned the coveted NASC Quality Seal of Approval, then you may want to consider Dr. Harvey’s Golden Years geriatric supplements for dogs.
We do not endorse or promote any products on our website. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult with your vet before treating health issues to rule out medical issues that should be diagnosed and treated by your vet.
With your help, we can keep senior pets out of shelters and place them in loving, caring homes. Your gift can help save senior pets from an uncertain future.
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