The Importance Caring For Aging Pets
Understanding Senior Pet Care
In our eyes, our pets will always be our babies, even as they enter their golden years and begin to grey. Much like humans, aging brings many changes to your pet’s body and needs. Senior pet care is very different to care you gave your pet when you first got them as a young puppy or kitten.
You may begin to notice that they pant a little harder after a walk or struggle to climb onto your bed. This means that it is time to make modifications to your home and changes to their exercise routine and diet to keep your companion happy, healthy and comfortable.
Not All Pets Age Equally
There are many factors that affect how your beloved pets age. Size and breeds to health and genetics all have a role to play.
Large breeds, such as Great Danes, age considerably quicker and are considered seniors from around 5 years old where small and mediums sized breeds, such as Labradors and dachshund’s, reach senior age at 7 to 10 years. Much like smaller canine breeds, cats are considered senior when they reach the ages of 8 to 10 years
Changes In Your Senior Pet
Taking care of a senior pet can be difficult. However, there are many things that can be done to make the process more manageable. As your pets age, they will begin to experience various physiological changes and age-related conditions, some of which include:
Taking Care Of Aging Pets
Some of these changes might not be noticeable until your pet is very old. However, regular check ups with a local veterinarian will help detect symptoms, conditions and diseases that are so subtle they have gone unnoticed.
During a wellness exam, your vet will examine your furry friend and ask you questions specifically regarding common ailments found in older pets. Working with you, a care and diet plan will be developed to treat any issues they may have as well as to ensure they stay as healthy as possible.
Double Up On Vet Visits
As pets age more quickly, it is recommended to have a wellness and health check up twice a year. These exams are crucial in the early detection of illness and disease as well as determine if your pet in over or underweight.
Dental disease is especially common in senior dogs, who simply adapt to any discomfort or pain. As a result, dental health problems is easily missed and goes unnoticed by many owners.
The ultimate goal is to diagnose and treat all disease in senior pets to allow them to live comfortably in their golden years and have the best quality of life.
Healthy Food, Happy Pets
It comes as no surprise that nutrition is important throughout a pets life. However, making good food choices for senior pets is an especially crucial aspect of senior pet care.
As pets age, they begin to slow down. A result of this decreased activity and a slowed metabolism, aging pets tend to gain more weight. Many aging pets require fewer calories than their younger counterparts and an altered diet, to ensure they are receiving all the relevant nutrients they need to thrive.
Keeping Handicaps In Mind
Many senior pets have decrease hearing, vision and mobility. Making sure the environment is safe is crucial to ensuring senior pets remain unharmed. It is recommended to block of stairways and avoid moving furniture so visually impaired pets cannot fall or bump into furniture.
For pets with limited mobility, providing steps or ramps can make it easier and safer for your furry friend to reach their favourite spots!
Keep Aching Joints At Bay
Another common issue many senior pets suffer from in arthritis. There are many ways to ease the discomfort of aching joins for your elderly pet, from supplements and medications to natural home remedies.
Many pets find relief in warm towels placed over sore joints. Additionally, massages, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments can also keep aching joints at bay and your pet moving well. These remedies keep muscles soft and supple while increasing blood flow to the joints, counteracting the stress of arthritis and providing pain relief.
Keeping your pet physically fit as they age is crucial. As anyone with ache and pains, it might take some coaxing to get your senior pet up and active. Pets tend to age better with daily physical and mental exercise, such as a long walk or some time in the park. Mild exercise promotes muscle tone, keeping joints from getting stiff.
Mental exercise is just as important for your pet’s well being as physical. These workout are key to keeping your aging bet in tip-top cognitive shape.
Pets In Their Golden Years
Bringing a pet home that is unquestionably accepting and loving, it comes as no surprise that we have to blink back tears as we see them age. This makes senior pet care all the more important.
Advances in veterinary care and technology have helped pet owners keep their companions healthier and happier for longer as they age. With discussions with your local vet, careful consideration and various lifestyle changes, senior pets can continue to enjoy their usual romps well into their golden years.
Senior Pet Care
The House Call Vet are a team of dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable veterinary specialists who love to see wagging tails and hearing how we have bettered the lives of senior pets.
With a passion for pets, we have a commitment to quality pet health care, wellness and ensuring the happiness of your ageing dogs and cats. We are with you every step of the way!
We consult from 7 am to midnight 7 days a week so that we can always be there for you and your pet, no matter what level of care they need.
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