Prioritizing muscle health in senior pets

When it comes to promoting the overall health and wellbeing of aging

dogs, muscle health tends to take a back burner. Here’s why we need to be placing more of a focus on increasing muscle mass in our senior pets. 40 million pet dogs in the United States are considered senior pets(pet dogs over the age of 7), and with age often comes a decline in muscle mass. This type of age-induced atrophy is referred to as sarcopenia and, unfortunately, it’s often overlooked. Slowly, however, its significance is pertaining to the leading edge with the understanding that muscle health supports durability. In order to avoid atrophy and all of its side effects, like discomfort, weak point, and loss of vigor, it’s important for dog caretakers to make muscle health a top priority. This may suggest focusing on preventative muscle maintenance or, if atrophy has currently begun to happen, focusing on muscle growth. What can dog parents do? First, get more familiar with the indications and threats of sarcopenia. Next, find out the best ways to resolve it.

Sarcopenia in pets

Dog sarcopenia is a decrease of lean muscle mass due to aging. More pets are experiencing it than ever in the past due to the fact that more pets are living longer than in the past (as a result of improved veterinary care and the broadening canine health industry!). This muscular atrophy has actually been proven to minimize lifestyle and increase the threat of special needs and mortality because, as discussed above, muscle health supports numerous systems of the body. For instance, it can impact energy, metabolic process, motion, balance, and bone health.

Dogs can also end up being susceptible to cachexia. Similar to sarcopenia, cachexia is defined by a weak point or wasting of the body due to a chronic health problem or illness. Cancer, autoimmune illness, heart concerns, and kidney problems might all lead to its advancement. Cachexia ends up being significantly common as pets age, since the longer canines live, the more prone they are to disease. Sarcopenia and cachexia can take place at the very same time.

What can you do?

Symptoms and signs to look for with both sarcopenia and cachexia include lack of energy, lameness, limping, resistance to walking, playing, and working out, and problem fluctuating stairs. Pet dog parents can monitor their canines’ muscle health by continuously examining muscle density and by committing to annual veterinary check outs. If muscle loss has actually been validated, it can be resolved with workout, nutrition, and supplements. Together, they’ll assist rebuild healthy muscle for much better stability and movement.


Exercise helps dogs maintain healthy muscle similar to it does for people. Low-impact activities like strolling or swimming can construct the muscle without causing any extra stress. Not just is exercise crucial for muscle development, it’s also required to avoid or neutralize weight gain. When muscle loss becomes a problem, a pet may go with a more sedentary way of life, resulting in weight issues like obesity. Due to the fact that extra weight puts pressure on the joints, triggering pain, inflammation, and additional resistance to activity, pet moms and dads ought to do what they can to combat it in their pets, beginning with a routine exercise routine. It can be challenging for dogs having problem with muscle loss to be active, but as long as the exercise is not overly laborious, it will help them in the long run. A veterinarian can help you identify which type and how much of it is just right.


For nutrition, it’s finest to implement a healthy diet chosen for your pet dog’s specific weight requirements, which you can also work with a veterinarian to determine. In order to avoid weight gain and the tension that it puts on the body, a goal-specific diet plan needs to be established. And, as protein is shown to assist preserve existing muscle mass, ensuring that it is protein-rich is essential (unless otherwise encouraged by a vet).

To minimize swelling, you can likewise integrate natural supplements such as fish oil and turmeric.

Recovery products and treatments

Finally, there are terrific healing products and therapies that can support your pet dog’s muscle health. Orthopedic dog beds decrease pressure and stress on the joints, lessening the risk of health conditions that could lead to atrophy. Sleeves and braces provide additional assistance and relief. Hydrotherapy and canine swimming pools are wonderful low-impact exercise alternatives to assist keep your dog active and strong. Psychical therapy can also be helpful, and has actually been revealed to be an extremely efficient kind of treatment for muscle loss, offering targeted exercises that assist the joints and muscles.

While age-related muscle loss is highly typical, there are lots of preventative procedures that can be taken and care protocols that can carried out to promote muscle health. I hope the ideas noted above offer some guidance and serve as handy tools on the roadway to recovery.