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HELPING YOUR SENIOR PET
As your dog ages, symptoms of change become more apparent; more careful steps, reluctance to jump from or to high levels, grey hairs around the muzzle, face and body, and a general slowing down in all activities.
Aging: Animals and humans share the aging process; an aging pet suffers from an overall slowing of his metabolic rate and organ function, including the brain that leads to a decrease in performance. A slower metabolic rate results in an increase in fatigue and in “balance” issues. The aging process may cause the animal to urinate more frequently requiring a more recurrent need to go outside. As your pet ages, there is also, a decrease in the immune system’s efficiency leaving your animal more vulnerable to infection and inflammatory problems.
Exercise: One of the great ways to delay the aging process is to exercise regularly. Depending on the age of your dog, try to provide exercise at least a ½ hour daily. If thirty minutes of exercise is too much for your dog, try 10 to 15 minute exercise sessions twice a day. As your dog reaches his senior years, 10 to 15 minutes daily or every other day might be sufficient. The more your dog exercises, the more you improve his quality of life. Regular activity will secure good circulation and good oxygenation of his tissues, boosting his metabolic rate and slowing the progression of aging, including the advancement of arthritis. When taking your dog out for exercise, remember to bring water to keep him/her hydrated and some healthy snacks to maintain blood sugar levels at par with the effort. In warm climates, be careful not to expose your animal to prolonged heat. This could result in heat stroke. If in a cold climate, keep your pet warm in order to avoid “chills”. Be aware of possible frostbites to his paws. If going outside is not possible, playing games and indoor exercises can be helpful.
Nutrition: Contact your veterinarian to discuss the proper nutrition for your aging pet. Talk with your vet about adding supplements and vitamins to his diet. Consider joint care products with MSM to assist your dog’s aging joints. Good nutrition combined with regular exercise is your best line of defense against the natural aging process.
Home-care: Dogs that show signs of stiffness, over the back and/or legs, benefit from a
Grooming: The older pet requires weekly grooming in order to maintain good health. Brushing the coat on a regular basis helps to increase circulation. While grooming, check ears, eyes, nose and teeth for any changes or abnormality. Frequent check-ups can help you detect early signs of problems. Early detection is key to the older pet’s health.
Arthritis: If your pet displays signs of arthritis, stiffness of movement in the morning or evening, look up the Animal Awareness.com free library of articles for more in-depth information on arthritis and how you can actively participate to create a better quality of life for your pet. Specific massage techniques and massage mini-videos on arthritis are available.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful. My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal.
Please visit our FREE library. Our many articles address important aspects of animal wellness and fitness. Take the time to scroll through our free library to find out how you can actively contribute to your dog’s wellness. You can also access this library directly through your iPhone, by using the Animal Awareness free application.
At AnimalAwareness.com we also offer a large video library with over a 100 mini-videos that will show you how to easily perform the various massage and stretching techniques talked about in this article. These videos offer you the correct start and visual guidance. With this knowledge, you will be able to develop a good home care program for the benefit of your animal friend. He will love you for it.
Recommended DVD Downloads
A regular application of the “Relaxation Massage” (CV004) and the “Full Body Massage” (CV006) will be a great preventive measure to sooth the muscular tension in your aging dog. Also, the use of gentle “Stretching Exercises” (CV007) will maintain his flexibility and maximize the benefit of his home care program.
If you are just starting with your home care program, consider our “Introduction to Animal Massage” package,a 20% discount value on the first 7 DVDs, to secure a sound foundation in your animal massage skills. Take advantage of our other packages to further develop your expertise in animal home-care.