It is well known that animals, in the image and likeness of people, They need more attention when they reach an advanced age. Obviously the elderly specimens – senior in the veterinary world – are much more sensitive and tend to get sick more easily.
This law of life does not mean that we will spend time observing how our dogs are filled with gray hair. In our hand it is found to prevent a lot of diseases and help them spend a much more pleasant old age and even prolong their life. One of the key elements is food.
Only 43 percent of dog owners provide a specific diet adapted to the condition of their pets at this crucial stage of their life. This data has been obtained as a result of a survey conducted by Virbac experts. It’s about the First independent company dedicated exclusively to animal health worldwide: In turn, it is a pioneer in returning to dogs (and also cats) the balance of their ancestral feeding of carnivorous hunters through its Veterinary HPM line.
The survey, conducted through the company’s social networks, has allowed us to discover what level of knowledge owners of dogs and cats have about the habits and care their pets need in their senior stage.
Although 83 percent of owners of dogs and cats « elderly » claimed to have adapted the feeding of their pet throughout their lives, more than half of half said that despite this, upon arrival At that stage, the diet had not changed, adapting it to its new condition. These data obtained following the survey shed light on the ignorance among the owners of the importance of adapting the diet of their pets to their vital stage. Something that is very present in the care of a puppy, but in the case of seniors continues to generate many doubts.
A good prevention that ensures the well-being of our senior pets, begins by visiting our veterinarian to advise us on the choice of a diet that meets the needs of a senior and that, in turn, respects the carnivorous origin of our best friends. In this sense, numerous studies have shown that a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates can help us preserve the health status of our dogs and cats.
So why not recover your carnivorous instinct at this stage of your life? From Purina Proplan they assure that «to age does not only consist of accumulating years and experience. Aging implies that the organs and structures of the organism accumulate hours of operation, and inevitable wear begins to occur ». For this reason, measures can be established to detect these changes and act to curb this deterioration and at the same time facilitate adaptation to new circumstances.
New care and attention
The survey, in addition, has revealed the physical and behavioral changes associated with the passage of time, as well as the importance of offering our adorable old age specific care to ensure their well-being. For owners of senior dogs and cats surveyed, the appearance of joint problems, reduced physical activity and weight gain, They are the 3 most present changes in their animals.
On the other hand, they position veterinary reviews, oral health care and the choice of a specific diet among the 3 most important factors to improve the life of a senior pet. That is why in this stage full of changes and specific care, the veterinarian can be your best ally so that our hairy (and the owners themselves) adapt to this new condition in the best possible way.
One of the systems that most obviously reflects this wear is the skeletal muscle system. Elderly dogs suffer mobility problems as a result of the wear of their joints. The joints are subject to constant movement, and act as hinges and cushions between the bones. Its stability depends on joint structures, such as cartilage or synovial fluid that lubricates them, but also the surrounding muscles. Muscles with proper tone help maintain joint stability. Therefore, you should ensure that your pet’s weight is not excessive, to avoid excessive pressure on their joints, and maintain healthy muscles so they do not lose stability.
That a dog is old does not mean that he has to leave it in a corner. That is why it is very important keep certain routines at home that allow you to maintain mental agility. The game is your best ally to get it. There are several toys in specialized stores, which have been designed in order to exercise your mind, although you can also use classic and simple games.
It is important that you ask your dog on a regular basis to do everything he has learned as a young man. If you had taught him to look for a toy and bring it, you have to keep asking, even once a day. The prizes will be your best allies. You can also put part of your daily food ration in a cardboard box or empty plastic bottle, and hide it each time in a different place. By encouraging him to look for it, he will awaken his desire to explore.
On many occasions if it were not for the gray hairs that begin to appear around the snout of your dog, its external appearance would not allow you to assume that it has grown older. This occurs mostly at the beginning of the senior stage, between 7 and 9 years old in dogs of medium or large breeds, and even until 10 or 11 in dogs of small breeds, they ensure from Purina Pro Plan. At these ages, internally, changes in the organs begin to occur that may not be obvious until they have advanced significantly.
Therefore, it is very important not to forget regular appointments to the veterinarian. Health professionals can detect these changes prematurely, either by simple physical examination of your dog, or Thanks to the help of blood tests. When your pet enters that stage, it is recommended that you go to the veterinarian a couple of times a year. They already know that prevention is better than having to complain and give it to our endearing « get away » all the care you need.