An important place to start is to make sure your pet is on the correct diet for its breed and age – the nutritional needs of older pets are significantly different from when they are younger. They require fewer calories, protein and salt, and more vitamins and minerals. Fatty acids are important for skin and coat health. In human years your pet will be hitting their senior years between 6 – 9 years.
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Although your pet is getting older it doesn’t mean they should spend their days sleeping on the couch. It is good to take your pet on daily walks to maintain movement in their joints, but if walking is too painful or strenuous for your pet then alternative exercises like swimming may be an option.
Correct exercise and diet goes hand-in-hand with weight management. Your pet has enough aches and pains to deal with as they mature – more weight will just cause extra unnecessary strain to old joints and bones.
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Arthritis is one of the most common diseases in older pets, mainly resulting from wear and tear over the years, so prevention is really key here. Ensuring your pet has a healthy diet, does safe exercise and has a happy living environment will put you one step ahead of the nasty aging process.
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Regular visits to the vet is just as important. Your vet will help you keep track of your pet’s life stages and will be there to guide you in making the correct choices when it comes to your aging pet’s health.