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It used to be that anything wrong with an older dog was just assumed to be part of being “old.” Even the most loving and attentive pet owners didn’t realize there could be ways to make getting older less painful for their dogs – and less difficult, too, for pet lovers to watch.
Trouble getting up after sleeping? “He’s old.”
Can’t get up on the couch anymore. “She’s old.”
Obesity? Exercise intolerance? Doggy breath so bad it could peel wallpaper? “Old.”
Think about it: It used to be that way in people too. Many of us remember when someone who was 50 seemed “old.” But now yesterday’s “geezers” are today’s active 50-plus generation. With a focus on exercise, healthy food and never giving up or in to aging, being old doesn’t mean what it used to.
The same is true for our dogs. With a change of attitude, good medical care and the strategic deployment of products aimed at the senior set, your dog can be happy, healthy and active for years longer than you’d ever have imagined.
The transition from puppy to active young adult to middle age comes quickly in dogs, especially big ones. The signs of aging turn up early in large dogs, and we veterinarians see them as early as age 5. (Little dogs age more slowly.) Middle age is the time when the annual wellness check really ought to be a semiannual, so that the changes brought on by aging can be quickly diagnosed and addressed. (Especially dental care: Doggy breath is neither inevitable nor normal.) Your veterinarian can recommend two products designed to help with mobility that really can make a difference in your aging pet's life: joint supplements and pain medication.
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