Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy without Medication
2 tips for healthy senior dogs
Your dog is getting older. This is a process that you can’t reverse, but you can make less painful.
While medical and surgical interventions may greatly improve your dog’s quality of life, keep in mind that these are not the only way to help your dog reduce her pain. Consider the following two tips on things you can do to improve your senior dog’s life without medical intervention.
1. Talk To Your Vet
The first and most important step in helping your dog with her age related issues is to find out what her issues are. Talk to your vet about what exactly is ailing your dog. Learn as much as you can about arthritis, cataracts, deafness, or whatever is affecting her. The more you know, the better you can help your dog.
2. Feed Your Dog Properly
One of the biggest problems that senior dogs face is extra weight. You may be thinking, no her arthritis, or diabetes affects her more than a few extra pounds, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Extra weight on a senior dog will exacerbate any current issues she has, and extra weight can even induce other problems with your dog’s health. Now, when I say extra weight, depending on the size of your dog, I could maybe only talking about a couple of pounds. If your dog only should weigh ten pounds, and instead she weighs fifteen, those extra five pounds are a HUGE problem. That’s fifty percent of her weight! Imagine if you were to increase your own weight by fifty percent. That would be a major issue. Extra weight puts increased pressure on your dog’s heart, lungs, bones, joints, and it can lead to not only more problems with her heart, lungs, and bones, but also to things like diabetes. If your dog is over weight, her arthritis will be worse than if she were at a healthy weight. More pressure on those already painful joints will only increase her pain.
While there are many ways to reduce your senior dog’s weight, one of the first things you should do is make sure you are feeding her the proper food. Once again, talk to your vet about the best type of food for your dog, but consider this. Diet food is not always the best food for an overweight senior dog. As dog’s age they need to eat a higher grade of protein. They loose their ability to break down and use low-grade proteins. If you feed your dog low quality protein (which can be diet food) not only are you giving her subpar nutrition, but that low quality protein is also most likely causing her to gain weight. While your vet can recommend what type of food is best for your dog, keep in mind that in most cases concerning dog food, you get what you pay for. Cheap food is most often made of low quality protein and more expensive food is made of higher quality protein.