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23 May 1999 Issue
Aging Pets

It's not just Baby Boomers who are getting older these days -- their pets are,
too. Jon Patch, host of the national radio show "Talkin' Pets" broadcast from
Florida's Sea World notes, "A significant percentage of my callers are worried
about pets who are beginning to experience the aches and pains of aging.
Better veterinary care is allowing pets to live longer, but owners want to be
sure than even older animals can climb stairs comfortably, take a walk on the
beach, and catch a frisbee or two."

With owners increasingly choosing natural products in their own health care,
it's hardly surprising they're looking for similar solutions for their animal friends.
Hot products for geriatric pets now include such items as arthritis remedies
for pets made with glucosamine -- the same natural ingredient owners often
use to soothe their own stiff joints. A natural nutraceutical, glucosamine helps
maintain connective tissue and cartilage -- without the side effects associated
with steroids and aspirin.

When choosing any nutritional product for your elderly pet, look for the words
'guaranteed analysis' on the label, advises Patch. "If the manufacturer doesn't
stand behind its product by guaranteeing its nutritional analysis, you can't be
assured of the purity of the active ingredients," he cautions.

Other steps that can make an older pet more comfortable include raising their
food dishes and adding extra padding to bedding material to help cradle aching
joints. But the most important ingredient in caring for an aging pet may be the
easiest of all. Patch emphasizes, "Just show them the love you always have."

---From AltMed on AOL

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