Helping your pet age well: Q & A with Dr. Carol Osborne

Moderator: HOSTED EVENT ALERT: Welcome to this Wednesday’s PetChat hosted event with Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM. Carol will answer your questions about your pet and how to give him or her a long and healthy life. Welcome Carol!

Crazymonkey: Ok I have a question. Are there certain diets that’ll keep dogs from anti-aging or what are some key things I can do?

Drcarol: Feed a good natural or organic diet

Crazymonkey: Do you recommend a specific brand?

Drcarol: Provide your dog with a balanced vitamin supplement

Crazymonkey: I always have a hard time picking out food for my dog because she’s so picky

Davis: Do you recommend moving towards a raw diet as well?

Drcarol: For commercial diets I have had luck with Prairie by Natures Variety and Newmans Own Organics

Drcarol: Raw diets work well for some pets but because of the current problem with the food chain I would avoid raw foods so as to avoid salmonella

Drcarol: Home made diets are excellent

Valentine: I have a question please

Drcarol: Ok. What’s your question

Valentine: Could you recommend a joint medication or supplement for an older dog. Is it really necessary?

Drcarol: PAAWS is wonderful and will help reverse the aging process and support your dogs hips and joints

LeslieSmith: What is PAAWS?

Drcarol: Paaws is an all-natural, usa made patented longevity vitamin supplement for dogs and cats

Valentine: How can I know when to start my dog on joint supplements?

Drcarol: That depends on your dog and your health goals for your dog

Valentine: Is there an age? Or symptoms to look out for?

Drcarol: In general research shows that to optimize your dog’s wellness and promote a long healthy life starting sooner is best. Dogs become seniors at age 7. I recommend starting your dog out from day 1 with a good diet and proper supplements. It’s never too late to start

Valentine: How about some preventive care?

Valentine: What are some things you can suggest for my dog who’s not quite 7?

Valentine: I was asking about joint problems because the vets didn’t find anything wrong with his bones or physique, but my dog seems to limp sometimes and not as enthusiastic when running

Drcarol: Signs of aging are hard to detect and require a watchful eye. Dogs slow down, often gain a few extra pounds, become less energetic and less playful. They may shed excessively; have a hard time going up and down stairs.

Valentine: I see… same with appetite as they grow older? He seems to be eating less, maybe just not a pup anymore….

Drcarol: Then I would recommend a good vitamin supplement like paaws, be sure his or her body weight is in check. With paaws these signs will be reversed within 30 days

LeslieSmith: My dog is healthy. I’m just very interested in keeping him that way! Can you make some recommendations? He’s almost 5.

Drcarol: At age 5 hes just 2 years away from being a senior citizen. Visit your vet at least once a year

Davis: Is there an easy way to check my dog’s weight? Just use a people scale?

Drcarol: Run your hands along either side of the rib cage. The rule is you should be able to easily feel but not see each rib. Your dog should also have a “waist”-a tucked up area just in front of the hind legs

Drcarol: If you can easily feel each rib and/or you can pinch more than an inch its time to cut back

Davis: Should I measure the area to monitor it? Just like measuring for pants, haha.

Drcarol: No, weigh your dog once a week at the same time of day and make a chart. Weigh yourself, pick up your dog-if you can -weigh both of you and subtract the difference, that’s what your dog weight

LeslieSmith: Any advice for people with dogs who weigh 80 pounds or more? Hard to weigh…

Drcarol: For very large dogs go to your vet or to a truck stop to get an accurate weight

LeslieSmith: Could you also please give a little more info about a homemade diet? What should it include?

Drcarol: 1/3 lean protein like chicken turkey, duck, beef, eggs, salmon, 1/3 long acting carbs like rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, 1/3 veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc. Cook them any way you like then add a little extra virgin olive oil which enhances the smell and taste and is a great source o f omega 3 fatty acids. Then season the food so it tastes and smells good. Many dogs like barbeque sauce, pasta sauce and tamari sauce. You can buy low sodium tamari sauce. Be sure to feed at least twice a day

LeslieSmith: Pasta sauce (tomato-based) is ok?

Davis: Should I give him choices in sauce?

Drcarol: tomatoes are fine, choices of sauces depend on what your dog likes. When you are cooking or coming home with carry out and your dog is at your side chances are he likes the small of whatever you are making so try that

Brunothedog: I have a question. Is there anything that can be done for excessive shedding? We try brushing, supplements, but nothing works. Is there something nutritionally that Bruno is not eating?

Drcarol: What do you feed Bruno?

Brunothedog: Iams veterinary/prescription low residue dry formula

Drcarol: A good weekly bath with organic oatmeal shampoo is very easy and effective. Unfortunately I feel you can do much better than that for a diet choice

LeslieSmith: By any chance does that work for dandruff too?

Brunothedog: We can do better in food? Can we get any other supplements? Or would a weekly bath (he gets every other week now) be better?

Drcarol: Yes it does help with dandruff.

Drcarol: I carry a topical product called dermaluster-its natural, made for skin and hair issues and works very well

Drcarol: PAAWS is excellent!

Brunothedog: Thank you!

Drcarol: my site is www.drcarol.com if you’d like to read more about the products

Drcarol: If you’re bathing every other week I would get a supplement and add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to each meal. Since spring is approaching be sure to groom your dog and remove the undercoat

ur_ay_gas: Hello! We have an 8 M.O. Shih Tzu who hates my grown son. When he comes in the room she barks, growls and then hides. How do we turn this behavior around?

Drcarol: That’s a bit tricky-you need to use positive reinforcement and a lot of patience. Each time your son visits the dog; have him offer your dog a treat so your dog will begin to associate your son with something good-like food

Drcarol: Behavioral modification techniques are easily explained in my book, Dr Carol’s Naturally Healthy Dogs which is available online at www.drcarol.com

Drcarol: I am also glad to consult with you and am available toll free at 1 866 372 2765

ur_ay_gas: Thank you. We have tried the treat bit; she refuses to accept anything from him. I’ve had dogs all my life and have never seen anything like this.

LeslieSmith: Great! Didn’t know we’d be able to get behavioral advice as well. Thanks, Dr. Carol!

Drcarol: Perhaps your son could spend a few minutes gently brushing or massaging him.

ur_ay_gas: Thank you Dr. Carol. We’re willing to try anything!

Drcarol: That’s more complex and would be difficult for me to type out all the tips for you to try-a consult would be more beneficial

shinySC: Hi Dr. Carol. I have a question please~

Drcarol: Hi. Ok

shinySC: I went to your site, and there are so many products. How do we diagnose a problem? Is it purely when I take my dog to a vet?

Drcarol: What are you looking for?

shinySC: My dog seems pretty healthy to tell you the truth, but I see on your list things like allergies….do I have my dog checked out when his behavior changes, eating changes, things like that? How do I know that there’s a problem with my dog?

Drcarol: Yes a change in behavior is often the 1st sign of an internal or medical problem. When anything changes from what’s been normal for your dog that’s your 1st sign. If all seems well and you visit you vet at least once a year go with your gut as no one not even your vet knows your dog better than you do

Sanlynnj: I have a question about running with my dog

Drcarol: What about running with your dog

Sanlynnj: I just want to make sure it is ok, and what distance is ok

Drcarol: It’s just fine

Sanlynnj: Her age is 17 months, border collie/American Eskimo

Drcarol: Monitor the distance by watching your dog. When your dog slows down, lies down , pants or stops running, it’s because he’s tired and has had enough

Sanlynnj: Do I have to worry about her legs, joints etc. She is getting a lot of exercise now, off leash and just walking

Drcarol: Dogs need to increase their level of exercise gradually just like people do, a little at a time, and their fitness level will gradually increase accordingly

Sanlynnj: But I run and would love to have her join me, so I will start slow

Drcarol: Don’t worry unless you see a sign of a problem like slowing down, panting, limping

Sanlynnj: Ok. Yes, she likes it cooler

Drcarol: Yes, but you don’t want to force your dog to run when he pants

Sanlynnj: Ok

Drcarol: Yes start slowly. That’s the key

LeslieSmith: Panting is fairly normal though, in hot weather, right? Even when the dog is not exercising?

Drcarol: Dogs can’t sweat to lose heat so they open their mouth and pant. When he pants stop and rest

Sanlynnj: She does pant a lot when she is stressed

Drcarol: Then use your judgment to decide if that is enough or not

Drcarol: Don’t run when it’s hot. Avoid peak heat and run in the morning or early evening before and/or or after the hottest part of the day

Sanlynnj: Ok, I won’t. Thank you

Drcarol: That’s normal. Keep stress to a minimum

Sanlynnj: I try to

Drcarol: Stress raises cortisol-the hormone that accelerates aging

Sanlynnj: Car rides do stress her out

Drcarol: At 1st try short car rides like around the corner. Many dogs only go for car rides when they are going to the vet, so be sure your dog knows car rides can be fun

Sanlynnj: She goes in the car to go up on the hill for long walks etc. I try to get her in it for fun things too

Drcarol: Don’t feed 2 hours before or 2 hours after the car ride to avoid motion sickness

Sanlynnj: She does get sick in the car too, if we go any distance

Drcarol: A piece of a ginger snap cookie helps with motion sickness

Sanlynnj: No kidding

Drcarol: Peppermint tea also calms the stomach and tastes good

Sanlynnj: Really

Drcarol: Yes

Drcarol: That’s true for people and pets

Sanlynnj: I will try the cookie. Do I give it to her just before we leave?

Drcarol: Give the cookie about 30 minutes before departing for your car ride

Sanlynnj: I have another question

Drcarol: Sure

Sanlynnj: My dog doesn’t seem real eager to eat her food

Drcarol: Maybe she doesn’t like it

Sanlynnj: I have been putting a little chicken broth over it, just to make her enjoy a bit

Drcarol: Why don’t you try another food

Sanlynnj: I have been feeding her Eukanuba lamb and rice since she was a puppy

Drcarol: Chicken broth is fine, but if your dog doesn’t like the food why don’t you try another type

Drcarol: There is no reason you can’t make a change

Sanlynnj: I was just trying to stick with a good quality food. What do you suggest

Drcarol: Pet food has really declined in quality recently so maybe that why your dog isn’t happy

Sanlynnj: I would like her to be happy to eat; she sometimes just leaves it for awhile

Drcarol: As I said earlier there are many commercial brands available that to be honest are far superior to the brand she is eating

Sanlynnj: Oh and this is expensive?

Drcarol: You could try an organic diet like Newmans, for example

Drcarol: Premium foods all cost about the same. You are what you eat-this is as true for people as it is for pets

LeslieSmith: Thanks so much, Dr. Carol, for your time today!

Drcarol: A good diet with proper supplements will save you big time as your dog ages

Moderator: Thank you for participating in our hosted event with Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM. For more information about her products, visit www.drcarol.com or call her toll free at 1-866-372-2765.

Drcarol: It’s been my pleasure and I am available toll free at 1 866 372 2765 or online at www.drcarol.com

shinySC: Thank you Dr. Carol!

Moderator: Thank you Dr. Carol for your time!

Moderator: If you’d like a copy of the chat dialog, please visit http://dogtime.com/talk-with-other-pet-lovers-live-on-petchat.html.