We can all agree that we want our pets to live long, healthy, happy lives. It was an honor for me to see one of my cats reach 20 years old and my previous dog live to 15. Their aging wasn’t perfect, in fact, my cat survived cancer as a senior when she was diagnosed at age 15. My dog experienced hip and joint pain that left her unable to get up on her own at the very end of her life. And although we like the idea of our pets living like youngsters until the end, gradual changes to the body due to aging are prone to happen.
Since opening my stores, I’ve learned a lot more about the aging process and have found ways to help increase longevity and push away disease. In fact, I believe my 20 year old kitty and 15 year old dog could have had a better aging process knowing what’s become available via information, services and products.
It’s my opinion that it should begin with nutrition. It’s not to say that a pet cannot live a long life on non-nutritious foods, as it’s been proven time and again that they can. It’s about quality of life. It’s about providing foods that are actually metabolized and feeds the cells in the way they are intended to be fed. Diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, can be avoided. Weight issues, severe flea infestations, and chronic ear and skin infections should never be an issue.
The body is a remarkable “machine” that when fed the appropriate nutrients, can heal itself. The immune system, when strong, is fighting off cancer, viruses, bacteria and environmental toxins all day long.
It’s never too late to start on a nutritious food! You’re dog or cat may be young or old, but it’s never too late. Picking a right food can be extremely confusing for a pet owner. And, the pet food industry is very competitive so the companies do a great job with marketing their brands as “the best” even if they’re not. In fact, there is not one best food or way to feed. Our dogs and cats are as individual as we are, but following basic principles on what kind (kibble, canned, freeze-dried or raw) and understanding the source of those ingredients is very important. (Be wary of anyone who suggests that food ingredients isn’t important).
In addition, finding a veterinarian that combines holistic medicine approaches, rather than straight traditional western medicine, will offer you many suggestions on how to best care for your pets’ physical needs. Please understand that western medicine is important and has it’s place in our pet’s lives. But aligning with a holistic practitioner in addition allows you to avoid many of the chemicals, prescription foods and medications that may be a band aid approach rather than a whole body approach.
Our aging cats and dogs can experience similar age-related issues to ours. Knowing this, it’s never too early or late to think about prevention. Does your dog love to run and play? Is yours the one leaping high to catch the ball at the park? It’s never too early to begin a joint support. Has your cat gained enough weight that they no longer have that “ideal” figure? There are ways to keep your cat happy and trim and thus avoid issues such as joint pain and diabetes.
Need help? We offer complimentary nutrition consultations every day.