Just like humans, pet’s needs change as they age, and it can be challenging to maintain their health and happiness. Here are some things to consider so your senior pet remains in tip top shape for as long as possible.

First and foremost, make sure your pet is physically fit! Obesity plagues more than half of American cats and dogs and can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, osteoarthritis, and many types of cancer. Even a few extra pounds can cause stress on your pet’s body. Older dogs and cats require less food than younger animals because typically they are not burning as many calories. If your pet starts to gain weight, cut back on their food or switch to higher quality food, and increase exercise and/or play time.

Joint care is another important step to consider with senior pets. Keeping extra weight off will help tremendously with this. There are also great glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM supplements that help for joint pain by lubricating the tissue surrounding the joints. We also have a lot of success with fish oils, Ultra Oil, and freeze dried green lipped mussels as natural alternatives.

Gut health is another one of my favorite topics. If you don’t yet have your cat or dog on a probiotic or goats milk, I would suggest picking one up. The immune system lives mainly in the gut and most diseases start in the gut as well. Probiotics put good bacteria back into the gut that may otherwise be wiped out by antibiotics, yeast (candida) overgrowth, allergies, etc. Many come in powdered forms and all you have to do is sprinkle it over your pet’s food once a day. This is a very simple step in the long term health of your pet.

The last thing I’ll touch on is adding moisture to your senior pet’s diet. Pets fed a strictly dry food diet have to rely on their internal organs to make enough moisture to break down the food. Cats and dogs who ingest high quality wet or raw food either in addition to, or as their main diet, see a drastic decrease in diseases and failures of organs such as kidneys, bladders, and livers.

As always, feel free to stop into Premier Pet Supply with any questions you may have.