As our canine companions reach their later years, their bodies and patterns of behavior begin to change. For example, dogs that used to effortlessly sprint around the house during play sessions may slow down due to the adverse effects of aging, including fatigue, vision problems or joint damage. In order to provide optimal care and support for your canine, it’s imperative to understand and prepare for these potential changes. At Wapiti Labs, our passion is protecting and maintaining the health and happiness of your pets throughout each and every stage of life. Today we’ll be filling you in on four important changes that can occur as your dog ages.
1. Decreased Mobility and Activity Levels
Years upon years of exercise and play put an incredible amount of strain on your dog’s joints. As a result, many geriatric canines will avoid strenuous exercise or activities due to achiness or joint pain. In fact, it’s not uncommon for older dogs to develop osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that’s caused by the deterioration of joint cartilage. This disease can affect any joint in your pet’s body, causing a decrease in their level of activity and occasional lameness. Stiff or damaged joints can also make it challenging for dogs to jump or climb up stairs.
If your dog shows signs of discomfort or pain when running, jumping or walking up steps, be sure to set up an appointment with a local veterinarian as soon as possible. These animal experts can give you all of the tools and counsel you need to address your pet’s mobility issues. Moreover, Wapiti Labs offers a special formula that’s specifically designed to support joint flexibility and mobility for dogs in the second stages of life. Our Senior Mobility Supplement supports and maintains joint mobility, normal endurance and long-term health, making it an invaluable tool for geriatric dogs.
2. Dental Problems
Dogs have extremely hardy teeth, but they aren’t completely resistant to wear and tear, particularly when they belong to canines that have been chomping down on toys and treats for many years. Within three years of age, the majority of dogs begin to exhibit some evidence of periodontal disease, a dangerous condition that can subject canines to a wide variety of health problems. This disease is caused by the buildup and hardening of plaque on your dog’s teeth, and its likelihood of affecting your dog increases the longer they go without professional teeth cleanings. Regrettably, periodontal disease is very difficult to spot in its early stages, and most pet owners don’t realize that their animal has it until they begin to experience its harmful symptoms.
The best way to mitigate dental issues in your geriatric pet is by arranging regular teeth cleanings with your veterinarian. You can also work with these pet professionals or do some research online to figure out the best ways to brush your dog’s teeth at home. Even if you personally clean your pet’s teeth every day, bear in mind that they should still receive a professional cleaning at least a few times a year to catch and address any dental problems before they become serious.
Note: You can also use high-quality dog chews to clean your dog’s teeth! For example, our Elk Antler Chews contain marrow, a substance that acts as a natural toothbrush for dogs.
3. Decreased Ability to Resist Diseases
As canines age, their immune systems stop working as effectively as they used to, potentially exposing them to a variety of dangerous germs and illnesses. Consequently, older dogs are more likely to develop infectious diseases, and these afflictions have a more powerful and dangerous effect on their bodies. This degeneration of your dog’s natural defenses is perfectly natural and normal, but it does require you to take additional steps to protect them from becoming sick.
First and foremost, be sure to contact your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is up to date on all of the latest vaccinations that they need. You may also consider setting your dog up with a supplement regimen to keep their system in peak condition. Just be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting your canine on any new supplements or medication.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian, decreased activity levels and poor muscle tone in the GI tracts of older dogs make them more likely to experience constipation issues. Fortunately, setting your canine up with a healthy diet and ample amounts of clean water can mitigate this condition, but some animals require more support than others.
If your geriatric dog begins to experience constipation issues at any age, don’t hesitate to take them in for a checkup. Your veterinarian can provide your dog with a supplement regimen that contains special digestive enzymes and probiotics. Furthermore, Wapiti Labs offers a unique herbal pet supplement that soothes and protects the GI tract.
Support Your Dog with High-Quality Pet Supplements
If you’re interested in learning more about our natural pet supplements or want more advice on how to care for your canine, then be sure to call or contact us today!