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Your dog is turning 7: Now what?
After spending a good six to eight years trying to keep up with your high-energy pooch, you may be starting to notice that it is slowing down – maybe it chases the ball for shorter periods, takes breaks to rest during play time or seems stiff after sleeping. These changes are normal in older dogs. While the particular age that "seniorhood" sets in depends on the breed, all dogs experience similar effects of aging and owners can help their pooches live out their golden years in the utmost comfort.
Small breeds might not experience symptoms of aging until they are 9 or 10 years of age, while giant breeds might start to slow down as early as age 5. One of the most important ways you can care for your older pooch is by feeding it the best diet possible. Commercial pet food is formulated to prevent certain health conditions in older canines. Whole Earth Farms Senior Dog Dry Food, for instance, contains natural sources of antioxidants that may prevent free radical damage – typical in older animals. You can also start to supplement your dog's diet with certain vitamins. Be Well Dog contains all sorts of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids to promote healthy organs and boost the immune system. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet is a pure source of this particularly helpful fatty acid, which supports
healthy cells all over the dog's body.
You can also help your older pooch by establishing a dental care program. Even if your dog has always had healthy teeth with not much help from you, it can help to get pet products like those in the C.E.T. Oral Hygeine Kit and start brushing them regularly. You could also give your pooch treats like Greenies Dental Treats to get rid of disease-causing tartar and plaque.
Taking good care of your dog's joints is also crucial as it reaches middle and old age. Starting it on a joint supplement like Cosequin or Dasuquin is a good idea. Anything that has chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine for dogs is helpful because it hydrates joints, boosting the cartilage.
If your dog seems stiff or lame from arthritis, you can also make maneuvering around the house easier with certain pet products. You can set up dog steps next to the couch or bed to reduce impact when your canine companion climbs up and down to snuggle with you. You might also want to keep a ramp like the Dog Ramp for Cars, SUVs and Trucks in the trunk of your car to help Fido travel without hurting its joints.