PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - As our pets age, we have to take special care to meet their changing needs. Make sure to feed your pet a healthy diet. Take the time to read the labels. The most important thing to remember is to keep it natural. Consider feeding your pet two smaller meals instead of one larger one to help aid digestion. Take your pet for regular checkups every six months to keep alert of any possible medical issues and preventative care.
Avoid those extra pounds that can trigger health problems such as osteoarthritis or diabetes by giving your aging dogs and cats an adequate amount of exercise, but of course, adjust it to their changing needs. Provide playtime in the yard and walk your dog daily but be aware of how much your dog can tolerate. It may be appropriate to make the walk significantly shorter. Your cats can stay quite active even just by playing with a simple toy or a dangling string
To ease the pain of arthritis or stiff joints, add supplements like glucosamine to their diet to help bone and joint tissue. Check with your veterinarian. Keep a watch for gum disease by keeping teeth and gums clean. If possible, try to brush your pet’s teeth or just use a damp washcloth over them and schedule annual teeth cleanings with your vet.
Reported By Nan Talleno, KYW Newsradio