Take a holistic approach to your pet’s health as they age–before common problems become a burden.
Problem: Extra pounds.
Solution: Start with exercise. Maintaining a trim figure will help your dog or cat stave off weight-related health conditions, such as diabetes and osteoarthritis. If you don’t have a backyard or can’t walk your pooch during the day, consider doggie day care or a dog walker. Keep cats active as well; even a good romp with a dangled string can help prevent unwanted pounds. Read about exercise and dogs in cold weather.
Problem: Sore joints.
Solution: Adding joint and connective-tissue supplements, such as glucosamine, to your young pet’s daily routine can help prevent arthritis down the road. If your older pet is already feeling achy, ask your vet to help you find an effective dose of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, or MSM. For more on the the topic, see Holistic Treatment for Dog Osteoarthritis.
Problem: Unhealthy teeth and gums.
Solutions: Tossing your pet a bone keeps plaque at bay, plus teeth will automatically get flossed with the connective tissue. With store-bought food, read labels and keep it natural. And in addition to annual teeth cleanings at the vet, brush your pet’s teeth once or twice a week with a paste made from baking soda and a drop of hydrogen peroxide. See 6 Tips for Healthy Doggie Teeth
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