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Shipping fee on orders under $88.00 USD: $5.95 USD

Caring for your older dog

Veterinary care has made amazing advancements over recent years. As a result, pets are living longer lives, which gives them more time to lavish affection on their owners. But, aging pets do require special care to ensure their golden years are happy and healthy.

The Senior Years
Not all animals enter their golden years at the same time. Cats, for example, tend to outlive dogs. Similarly, smaller breeds of dogs outlive larger dogs. As a result, the senior years of larger dogs come before the senior years of cats or smaller dogs. In fact, large breeds of dogs can be considered senior at just 5 years old, while a smaller dog may not be a senior until it is 10 or 13 years old. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you for sure if your pet is in this stage of its life.

Controlling Pain
One problem many aging pets have to cope with is pain. This pain can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain comes on suddenly and is usually associated with injury. Chronic pain, however, comes on slowly and lasts for a long time. Arthritis, for example, causes chronic pain. To avoid both chronic and acute pain, you need to make sure your pet remains active and gets plenty of exercise. You should also use natural supplements such as PAW Osteocare Joint Health Chews or Joint Guard Powder for Dogs to help control and manage the arthritis.

Veterinary Examination
In addition to helping your pet deal with pain, you should keep it on a regular veterinary schedule. Vet exams are the best way to catch diseases associated with old age while they are still in their early stages. The earlier the disease is caught, the better the chances of fixing the problem. Your aging pet should see the vet at least once every 6 months. While at the vet, your pet should receive a parasite evaluation, a blood-chemistry panel, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Any recommendations your vet provides should be followed closely and be sure to ask questions if you are unsure of what you need to do to properly care for your pet.

Side Effects of Aging
As your pet gets older, the likelihood of developing certain diseases is increased. Therefore, you need to be sure to keep an especially close eye on changes and possible signs of problems. A sudden weight gain or loss or a sudden increase or decrease in appetite is both signs of problems. Constipation, diarrhea for more than three days, repeated vomiting, and difficulty urinating should also be monitored. If your pet begins sleeping more than usual or becomes generally listless, you should also contact the veterinarian. Other signs of trouble include: open sores for more than one week, foul mouth odors for more than two days, drooling for more than two days, hair loss, increased abdominal size, excessive panting, inability to chew, blood in the urine or stool, heavy breathing, seizures, sudden weakness, and persistent coughing.

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