Is your dog no longer jumping around like a puppy? Has your playful pooch started to sleep the day away?
Dogs mature differently depending on their size and breed, and it is guessed that for every one year of a human life, a dog ages 7. So, by twelve, he’s equivalent to an 80-year-old man.
Wellness is of huge importance to health and a major factor in your dog’s happiness and comfort. Just like us, an aging lethargic dog often feels gloomy, while an invigorated dog faces life with a smile. We can help improve the aging process – and help your senior animal mature gracefully and enjoy his/her Golden Years, by creating and implementing a specifically designed wellness program that anyone can give and is easy and accessible.
No two dogs are exactly alike, therefore no two wellness programs are exactly the same. Changing your dog’s lifestyle such as diet, exercise, and physical therapy will help older dogs feel and perform better in their daily lives.
For a healthy diet, an older dog should eat food that is specially formulated for them. It should be low in fat and salt for a healthy heart. Dogs should lower their dry intake of dog food to decrease calories and combat obesity, and they should increase fiber to prevent constipation. Other foods to avoid include all “nightshade” vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers) as they contain harmful toxins that may harm your pet’s immune system.
There are so many simple ways to help your pet. For instance, at dinner-time, add some Omega 3 essential oils or cod liver oil to their food. This cuts down joint inflammation that often occurs in aging. Other ways to keep your canine happy include scheduling play dates and group visits, gently massaging your animal, and who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Give your “Best Friend” some new toys including those with hidden treats that will amuse them for hours.
Remember, a walk is always the simplest form of exercise. So, when the weather is right, get on your comfy shoes and do something that will be beneficial to both you and your dog.
Dr. Babette Gladstein