Senior Dog Wellness

September is Senior Dog Wellness month!

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Older dogs tend to be affected by chronic conditions, such as arthritis, decreased mobility, and sometimes memory loss.  There are a lot of things you can do to help improve the quality of life of your older dog.

 

We all need to keep an eye on our weight

As your pet ages, his metabolism may slow down, making it easier for him to gain weight.

An estimated 50% of pet dogs and cats in America are overweight or obese.

Overweight dogs are at greater risk for developing hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament injuries, disk disease, and osteoarthritis.

In arthritic overweight dogs, weight loss alone can be enough to alleviate the signs of arthritis.

Studies show that dogs that maintain a lean body weight enjoy a longer life span (by 15%, or nearly 2 years!) and a delayed onset of age-related conditions, such as arthritis.

 

Mobility Aids to prevent injury:2014-09-12 14.12.44

Older dogs may be more prone to slip and fall and injure themselves.  Several things can help them with their mobility.

Ramps or steps to help older dogs get into and out of the car or onto a favorite chair.

Soft bedding and a warm place to rest can help with muscle soreness and pain associated with arthritis.

Good traction on the floor can prevent fall injuries.  This can be accomplished with rubber-backed rugs or booties on the feet.

Several harnesses are available to help you support your dog’s hind end.  Our favorite is the Help Em Up Harness, and we carry all sizes and can fit dogs from 10 lbs to 220 lbs.

 

Exercise is good for Body, Mind, and Soul

Exercise is good for the Body:

Exercise keeps the muscles strong, which, in turn, supports the joints.

Exercise keeps joint fluid healthy, so joints remain limber, lubricated, and nourished.

Exercise helps your pet maintain an appropriate weight.

Exercise is good for the Mind:

Research shows that older dogs that had regular exercise, were socialized with other dogs, had access to novel toys, and were fed a diet that was high in anti-oxidants were better at problem-solving than older dogs that did not receive these advantages.

Exercise is good for the Soul:

Recent studies also show that dogs release the same chemicals that are responsible for the “runner’s high” in people.  So, exercise may make your dog happier!

 


 

4 Comments

  1. Great reasons to keep going. You gotta keep the regimen up for seniors, it’s so important. So many people tend to forget the importance of keeping up muscle strength and mobility. Sure the walks might be slower and shorter but they’re still great ways keep our dogs in shape, no matter what age.

  2. Those sure are great reasons to keep moving!

  3. Mom says that senior dogs and senior humans have a lot in common. They either pack on the pounds or get real thin, and those that were never active become really inactive, active seniors do enjoy remaining as active as possible. The weight thing is the worst battle for most dogs we know. Luckily our senior Katie has actually lost a bit of weight and is still as active as she can be with her arthritis. Great reminder that being a senior doesn’t mean becoming lazy!

  4. Thanks for reminding everyone how important continued exercise is for seniors. Even if its short and sweet, it’s important for them to keep moving.

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