Obesity is no longer just a health concern for the American people. According to a recent national survey conducted by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Cruelty, more and more pets are joining their owners in tipping the scales. The survey shows that some 45% of dogs and 58% of cats are either overweight or obese. This is a 2% increase for dogs and a 5% increase for cats from the previous year.
Your senior dog may not be as quick to chow down on that bowl of food as the old days or as lightning fast when playing a game of fetch as he used to be, but there are still plenty of tail-wagging memories to be made during your pup’s golden years. To help your dog live those years to the fullest, there are many products specifically designed for senior canines to ensure good nutrition and comfort as your dog matures in age.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for an aging dog:
•When selecting treats and food, look for labels on packaging that indicate use for senior dogs. Most senior dog foods are lower in fat and higher in fiber to support the nutritional needs of older dogs. Sometimes, you can even combine the tastiness of a treat with healthy benefits by using products like Greenies Senior Treats, which support good dental and joint health for aging dogs.
•There are several nutritional supplements at vetdepot available to help combat health problems commonly seen in older dogs. There are supplements to support everything from good joint health to bladder control. Consult with your pet’s veterinarian with any questions about which supplements may be beneficial for your aging dog.
•Many canines end up taking some sort of medication during their lifetime, especially during their later years. Trying to get your stubborn pooch to swallow a pill isn’t always easy, but luckily there are a couple of easy solutions. A pill pocket can be used to hide medication and allow for easy pet med administration. A pill shaver can also be used to grind up medication to be mixed in with pet food.
•Just because Fido is getting up there in years doesn’t mean he’s done playing. Your dog probably still gets plenty of joy out of playtime and an appropriate level of exercise is essential to good health at any age. Kong makes a specially designed version of their classic toy for seniors, made with a softer rubber. Look for toys like this one that are gentler on the teeth and jaw. Plush toys might also be a smart choice for aging dogs that may need a little extra comfort.
Dogs offer us years of loyal companionship and in return, we want to keep them healthy and happy for as long as possible. Whatever products you choose to buy for your aging canine companion, just remember to keep your dog’s changing needs in mind.
Procter and Gamble expanded last week’s recall of Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal Dry Food to include several more types of specialized pet food. The recall was triggered by FDA testing that revealed Salmonella in certain lots of Feline Renal food. P&G extended the recall to include other types of pet food as a precautionary measure because the food is all manufactured in the same facility. If you have purchased any of the following products, discard open bags immediately. Signs of salmonella poisoning include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite and abdominal pain. Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences these symptoms. For more recall information, contact Proctor and Gamble at (877) 340-8823
Recalled products include: Iams Veterinary Dry Formulas (all sizes and varieties, all UPC codes, best by date 01Jul10-01Dec11); Eukanuba Naturally Wild (all sizes and varieties, all UPC codes, best by date 01Jul10-01Dec11); Eukanuba Pure ( all sizes and varieties, all UPC codes, best by date 01Jul10-01Dec11); Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Skin (dry food all sizes, all UPC codes, best by date 01Jul10-01Dec11).
Veterinarians across the nation have started hosting free clinics to those who are in need financially. “As veterinarians it is our job to protect the public from zoonotic diseases and prevent needless suffering where possible” said David Dawson, DVM, owner and medical director of San Roque Animal Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. Veterinarians and their staff members volunteer to provide basic care and distribute pet food. These clinics are intended for people who could not provide health care to their pets otherwise, due to financial instability.
Some veterinarians and business managers like Terry Stoothoff of South Ocala Animal Hospital in Ocala, FL have started having pet owners register. They must provide a proof of need in order to avoid abuse of this free service; volunteers want to make sure they can reach their intended audience. Suzanna Brown, DVM, of Best Friends Animal Hospital in Mays Landing, NJ, recently held her fourth free clinic in two years and has attracted more than 200 people in a day. Due to high volume she has had to turn people away because of a lack of supplies and time. There is a huge need for these clinics. “Some people are just scraping by and their pet might be the only thing that keeps them going” said Suzanna Brown, DVM.
For centuries it’s been common to treat your dog to a left over bone from dinner. According to the Food and Drug Administration this can be very harmful to your pet and your wallet. “Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA. In April of this year the FDA came out with the top 10 reasons not to give your dog a bone.
Some reasons to avoid bones are as follows; broken teeth, mouth injuries, choking, intestinal blockage, rectal bleeding and infections such as Peritonitis, which is a difficult to treat bacterial infection in the abdomen. Should any of these symptoms occur you will need to make a visit to your veterinarian which can be costly. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to dispose of bones directly after a meal and to further take the trash outside to keep your dog from getting into it.
Your four legged friend still deserves a treat though. There are many treat options available, click here to check out VetDepots selection. Possible treats for your dog are giving them Kong Toys instead of a bone. In addition to Kong Toys, healthy chew products like C.E.T. Chews can often keep them happy and entertained as long as a big bone would and are safer too!