Caring For A Senior Pet: An Owners Guide
Getting older is inevitable, even for the animals we love and cherish. Seeing your pet reach old age is no small milestone; it’s a sign of a well-lived life, making it all the more difficult to witness them start to slow down and become geriatric.
As your dog or cat ages, they’ll become slower, less active, and less mobile. Their hearing and sight may also degenerate with time, and they are more prone to age-related diseases. Still, getting older should not be a death sentence for any animal. On the contrary, you can improve your pet’s quality of life in several ways, ensuring their golden years are full of love, health, and joy.
Here’s a guide to caring for a senior pet, keeping them healthy and happy even as they face some aging challenges.
1. Fix a Time for Semi-Annual Vet Visits
As your pet ages, it’s essential to increase their wellness visits to the vet. Their immune system may weaken with time, making them prone to various ailments and diseases. So regular checkups are vital to keeping them healthy and can help catch diseases in their earlier stages when they’re easier to treat.
Finding a vet specializing in senior care is also a good idea. However, this may not be an option for every pet. If your pet experiences undue stress when visiting a new veterinarian, it’s best to stick to the one they’re already used to.
2. Age-Appropriate Nutrition
It’s not easy being strict with your pet as they get older. They’ll ask for more treats, and you’ll be more tempted to give. However, remember that it’s vital to keep their diet healthy/balanced and their weight within normal range. Obesity and old age don’t really bode well together.
An age-appropriate diet can help meet their nutritional diet and improve their quality of life. When introducing supplements into their diet, make sure to consult your vet first so they can create a customized plan.
3. Regular Exercise
Walking your aging dog may start feeling more and more like a chore with time. Still, being patient with your dog is important when caring for a senior pet, as older dogs may need more rest. It’s a little more challenging to exercise an aging cat. All they want to do is eat and nap. In this case, try to excite them with interactive laser pointers so you can get them moving. Regular exercise will build your pet’s stamina and ensure they stay healthier for longer.
Keep an Eye Out for Subtle Signs of Aging
Your goal here is to ease your pet’s discomfort as much as possible. Unfortunately, animals cannot communicate their needs, making it imperative to watch for signs of distress. One of the ways you can continue caring for a senior pet is by making your home easier to navigate. Make sure they don’t need to use the stairs often, and keep a lookout for signs of incontinence.
Nutrition and environment play a crucial role in how well your pet ages. With the proper care and attention, your pet can enjoy and stay happy in their senior years.
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
Contact us at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page if you need help caring for a senior pet. We are here for you. Also, be sure to give us a call if it’s time for any of your other pet’s regular wellness or preventative care visit.