Adorable puppies and kittens may get all the attention, but we should never forget our sweet, loving senior pets. In celebration of Adopt A Senior Pet Month in November, the Arizona Humane Society is shining a spotlight on this great group of animals who often spend far too long waiting for a loving home.   However, just as in people, with age comes wisdom. Senior pets are perfect for households looking for a mellower, less rambunctious furry companion. They are often already house-trained and know how to sit, stay and fetch like pros. Open your heart and home to a loving senior pet today by browsing our online pet profiles.   Check out these great tips on how to care for a senior forever friend in your home:

Schedule regular visits with your veterinarian

Your dog needs to be examined at least yearly if it appears healthy, as many diseases are hidden and not apparent. Remember it is much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to treat it!

Feed your older dog a high quality diet

Learn to read the dog food label and choose a diet that is appropriate for your dog’s age and lifestyle. Cheap, low-quality food may not have all the proper nutrients your pet needs to stay vibrant and healthy.

Consider fortifying your senior dog’s diet with fatty acids such as DHA and EPA

They have been shown to be useful for dogs with mobility issues due to arthritis or other joint diseases. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are also beneficial for senior dogs.

Exercise your senior dog

It can help keep your older dog stay lean and maintain healthy joints and muscles. However, tailor your dog’s exercise needs to his individual requirements. For a large breed dog, walking around the block is probably just getting started but for a tiny Chihuahua, a brisk walk around the block may be a long trek. If your senior is not used to exercise, start slow and gradually increase the intensity — and only after you’ve consulted a veterinarian. Also, be careful with short-nosed dogs on hot days.

Provide your older dog with special accommodations

For instance, dogs with arthritis might benefit from soft bedding in the form of a special dog bed or towels/blankets on which to sleep. Ramps can be used to make stairs easier to navigate if they cannot be avoided. Even providing carpeting or rugs over hard-surface flooring can help your arthritic dog gain his footing and make it easier for him to get around.   *Consult your veterinarian before changing a pet's diet, supplement regimen and exercise routine.
November 6, 2014