Most pet owners can agree that pets just don’t live long enough! Whether you have raised a pet from the time they were a puppy or kitten, or you adopted an older bundle of joy, the aging process is an inevitable part of pet ownership, and the signs of aging can almost seem to appear out of nowhere.
Older pets need extra support and consideration, but it’s possible to provide them with a happy, high-quality life. Stick with us as we tackle the ins and outs of senior pet care.
The Importance of Senior Pet Care
Much like humans, pets are susceptible to a variety of health issues as they age, including:
Vision and hearing loss
Pets can be hard-wired to hide signs of illness and pain, making your commitment to senior pet care that much more important. We generally recommend that senior pets receive wellness exams twice per year so that we can promptly address and treat any problems that arise.
Caring for Your Distinguished Senior
By making these simple adjustments to your pet care routine, you can keep the quality of life high for your older dog or cat:
Nutrition – As our pets age, their nutritional needs change. Many senior pets can benefit from fewer calories, higher levels of protein, and additional vitamins and minerals. Your veterinarian will work with you to put together a diet and nutrition plan to meet your senior’s changing needs.
Exercise – Regular exercise is a crucial component of good senior pet care and can help reduce joint pain associated with arthritis. A daily walk or quick game of fetch goes a long way in helping a senior stay mentally and physically healthy.
Mobility – Mobility issues are common among senior pets, and fortunately there are a variety of products on the market aimed at making life easier for older dogs and cats. Raised beds, elevated food bowls, and pet ramps are just a few ways you can help support an arthritic pet.
Climate monitoring – Senior pets tend to be extra sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, so care should be taken to protect them from the elements. Keep your senior indoors as often as possible in the winter and consider purchasing warm, waterproof outerwear for walks. Provide plenty of shade and cool water in the summer, and bring pets indoors during the hottest part of the day.
Dental health – Good oral hygiene is important for the overall health and wellness of all pets, and can add years to your pet’s life. Even if you haven’t been paying much attention to your pet’s dental health, it’s never too late to start. We are happy to advise you on all the aspects of home dental care, and also offer comprehensive dental services in our office.
Senior pet care is a valuable and meaningful endeavor, and your team at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital is with you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding your pet.