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Health Issues in Older Dogs

You think of a 5 year old as very young, however, when your dog turns 5, he is beginning to enter his senior years. Your dog will begin to experience the same health issues as his human family.

By: Joseph Sabol
You think of a 5 year old as very young, however, when your dog turns 5, he is beginning to enter his senior years. Your dog will begin to experience the same health issues as his human family. As you begin to notice changes in your dog's appetite and behavior, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian for a complete evaluation. This exam will give the vet an overall picture of your pet's health by determining potential problems, addressing and treating current problems, and supporting you in caring for your aging companion.

Changes take place in your dog which effect activity level, appetite and digestive system, hearing and vision, skin and coat and behavior. Your dog's activity level slows down because his metabolism slows by about 30%. Your best friend may still show an interest in active play, but arthritis will cause him pain and decreased mobility. Today there are prescription drugs to deal with arthritis, similar to the medicines we take. Only your vet can decide if these drugs will be appropriate for your dog. High quality, human grade pet vitamins have been shown to support the overall health and wellness of dogs by providing essential Omega fatty acids, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.

The decreased activity level and slower metabolism will naturally effect your pet's appetite as well as his calorie requirements. There are many high quality pet foods that are specially formulated for senior dogs. They provide complete nutrition but with a lower f
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at and calorie content. The decreased fat content may result in your dog's skin and coat becoming dry. A dietary supplement, in the form of a high quality pet vitamin will help maintain your dog's healthy skin and coat.

One of the most noticeable signs of aging is the clouding of a dogs eyes. This is caused by cataracts and is more common in some breeds, such as Boston terriers. There are veterinary specialists that can treat cataracts. Glaucoma is caused by an increased pressure in the eyes. It can be very serious, but if detected early, it can be controlled.

Another issue in aging pets is dental disease. Gums become infected and teeth become loose. This can not only be painful, but it can lead to more serious health issues. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and cause cardiac or kidney problems. Have your veterinarian check and clean your pet's teeth and if necessary infected teeth can be removed and the dog prescribed antibiotics.

It is hard to see our best friend decline from an active, energetic playmate to a slower, less vigorous housemate. With proper care and nutrition and continued love and support from his family, your dog's senior years can be a pleasant, happy time.

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class Doberman breeder. Please go to http://petvitamins4u.com or to http://theroadhousedobes.com for further information

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class Doberman breeder. Please go to http://petvitamins4u.com or to http://theroadhousedobes.com for further information.

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