The well-being of your canine senior citizen depends a lot on maintaining his fitness level, which is achieved through a balanced diet, appropriate exercise and regular veterinary checkups.
As he ages, these three pillars of good health and fitness remain important. However, they will need to change and adapt to his different needs.
It is amazing how quickly muscle can waste away when it isn’t used. Anybody who has had a cast will immediately recognise the truth in the statement. That’s what will happen if you let your dog snooze all day — even though he’d prefer to spend his time napping.
Equally amazing is how quickly muscles recover their strength when exercised. Stronger muscles reduce the likelihood of injury while your dog enjoys an active lifestyle, which, in turn, maintains muscle strength — a cycle that we can all benefit from!
Here are some of key points to keep in mind when exercising your senior pet.
Reduction in intensity. Needless to say, his exercise must reduce in intensity. As an empathetic owner, you will notice if he appears to be over-taxed after a workout. If so, lower the intensity.
The duration of his activity need not change if he is comfortable with what he is doing. With the lowered intensity, you will find that his walks or runs cover a smaller distance. This is OK.
Changes in activity. You should also consider changing his activity. For example, swimming is an excellent low-impact alternative to walking if your dog’s joints are sore.
Be more aware. Your dog may be very good at hiding low to moderate pain. He won’t yelp or cry. Instead, you may notice that he is reluctant to get involved in some activities or is slower than normal.
Get in touch with your veterinarian if you are in doubt about his comfort level. Early detection of a problem will allow you to have it treated before it becomes too severe.
Consider a playmate. This may not be feasible, but allowing your aging pet to mix with another dog on a regular basis can help perk him up both physically and mentally. Be aware that a young dog may play too hard, so watch closely to prevent him overdoing it.
Joint supplements. Nutritional joint supplements such as Supleneo flex, are commonly used to support joint and cartilage health in older dogs. When used alongside appropriate nutrition and exercise, these supplements can help your dog to stay fit and active in its senior years.
Supleneo flex is a daily supplement, which is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages of dog and contains the key ingredients that can improve joint health, such as glucosamine. In addition, Supleneo flex’s natural liver flavour means dogs love the taste, making it’s easy and fun to give them their supplement every day. It is low calorie, so you can give it to your dog, instead of a treat.
For further information go to www.freedomtomove.co.uk
The basics of healthy living do not change as your pet ages, but the specifics do. Along with modifications to his exercise regimen, he will need changes in his diet and a heightened awareness from you about the status of his health. Your veterinarian is your partner in making sure your ageing dog enjoys life as much as possible.