Many dogs are now living longer lives thanks to better nutrition and veterinary care. Along with the increase in life expectancy, however, come a range of age related problems, just as they do in people. Signs of aging in dogs can include graying of the muzzle and feet, reduce activity and diminished vision and hearing, as well as more serious disorders vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidney.
Veterinary diets like CNM Clinical Nutrition Management® brand GL-FORMULA(tm) or GH-FORMULA(tm) can be an important nutritional aid to help maintain the health of older dogs.
What Influences Aging?
Aging is not a disease in itself but a continual process that extends from birth to death. It is characterized by progressive and irreversible changes to the systems of the body. Factors such as nutrition, exercise, genetics, and environment, can affect the rate of these changes.
Nutrition: Many older pets require fewer calories to maintain their normal weight because of a reduced activity level and a slower metabolic rate; however, others may tend to eat less or lose weight for a variety of reasons.
Exercise: Obesity is the most common nutrition-related problem in dogs. In a survey of veterinary specialists, obesity was linked to shorter life spans in pets. Regular exercise not only encourages weight loss but should help keep the animal's weight down when the target weight has been reached.
Genetics: In general, smaller breeds of dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds. Likewise, mixed breeds live longer than pure breeds.
Environment: Indoor animals live longer than animals that regularly spend time outdoors.
Older dogs usually suffer frmo a combination of problems rather than from a single disease. In addition to obesity, other typical problems in these animals include disorders such as heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
Although it is very important to provide proper nutrition to pets suffering from disease, diet alone will not be able to resolve their condition. If your animal has any of the signs listed below, be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately. Early detection may allow the veterinarian to treat or at least dely the progress of the disease.
Obesity: Approximately one fourth of all dogs seen in veterinary practices are overwieght or obese. Obesity has been associated with problems such as diabetes, liver and pancreatic disease, and lameness.
Heart Disease: Congestive heart failure is an age-related condition that occurs when the heart is unable to adequately pump out or receive blood. As a result, fluid accumulates in the tissues of the body and they do not receive enough oxygen.
Kidney Disease: The incidence of chronic renal failure, which involves, the inability of the kid to perform its normal func tion, is directly related to increas ing age. This progressive, irreversibIe, and ultimately fatal condition affects approximately 10% of dogs over 15 years of age.
Cancer: Old age is the single leading risk factor for the development of cancer in pets as well as in humans The most common sites of tumors in dogs are the skin, mammary glands, lymph nodes, and mouth.
Other Problems: A number of other organ systems are at risk in older patients For example, liver and pancreatic disorders can develop; these are often secondary complications to other problems, such as cancer. In addition, diabetes mellitus, a disorder characterized by a deficiency of insulin activity, may occur more often in dogs 7 to 9 years of
Knowing the Diet Difference
CNN Clinical Nutrition Management® brand GL-FORMULA(tm) canine veterinary diet and CNM Clinical Nutrition Management® brand GH-FORMULA(tm) canine veterinary diet are formulated to meet the healthy older dog's need for increased protein and provide appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
For older dogs that have become less active and require fewer calories to maintain their normal weight, GL-FORMULA features moderate fat and calories to aid in weight management. Moderate amounts of dietary fiber help control calories and may enhance intestinal function.
For older dogs that are eating less than whe n they were younger and are losing weight, GH-FORMULA provides higher calories to meet their nutritional needs, lower crude fiber to make, the food more digestible, and higher fat content, which enhances the energy content as well as the digestibility of this diet.
Both are formulated for maximum palatability and pet satisfaction. GL-FORMULA and GH-FORMULA canine diets should be fed only under the direction of a veterinarian.
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