Dogs Old dog close up

Published on July 12th, 2013 | by Debbie Martin

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Older Dogs and Health Problems

For many people, owning a dog is pretty much a lifetime commitment. Depending on the breed you have some dogs can live for as long as 15 years, sometimes more. In that time you will build an unbreakable bond with them, as they will you. But, just like people their health will start to deteriorate as they get older. Older Dogs and arthritis for instance is a very common problem.

 

How to Help Your Dog Stay Healthy

Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of loving our pets too much and this (unbeknown to you) can cause them health issues later in life. Obesity for example is an ever growing problem and this is just one of the reasons you may be looking into dogs and arthritis.

Arthritis is a joint degenerative disease. This means that if your dog is carrying more weight than he should be, extra pressure will be put on his joints and the surrounding tissue. The more pressure they have the less likely the surrounding tissue is going to repair itself. Since this is can be an issue in elderly dogs regardless, if your pet is overweight, you could actually start the on-set of conditions like arthritis.

This is why it’s imperative you manage to harden you heart against those dark, soft eyes when you’re in the kitchen. After all, you want your pet to be with you for as long as possible. If you’re concerned about diet, your vet will be more than happy to tell you what’s best to feed your dog and when. This does, of course, differ from breed to breed so it’s worth educating yourself on this one.

Exercise is something that’s also vital to your dog’s health and if he leads an active life as a youngster, this will help him when he starts to age. He will have the benefit of additional muscle to help keep joints strong and it will also ensure he doesn’t fall foul of the other problems such as heart disease.

 

In His Twilight Years

Just like humans, your four legged friend will slow down as he gets older, especially if he does develop arthritis. Not many people know but, arthritis in dogs is common. In fact, about 20% of adult dogs will suffer from this disease.

The trick is to make him as comfortable as possible and don’t be a stranger to the vet. If your pet doesn’t exactly jump for joy when he sees his lead, try just taking him for a slow and leisurely walk that’s gentle on his joints.

When he’s at home pamper him! Now, that doesn’t mean delicious treats that will rot his teeth and cause weight gain; instead it means making sure he has a nice padded place to sleep and somewhere that’s always warm.

It’s a sad fact, but our animals do age. However, they can still enjoy their later years in life if you know how to handle certain health problems like arthritis that they can start to suffer from.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.



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