Companion Animal

Caring for An Aging Pet

Sep 1 • 2 minute read

As our pets age, they often become less active and need more care. And while it’s normal for pets to slow down as they get older, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of health issues.

Senior pet care differs from caring for younger pets in many ways. Senior pets may require changes to their diets, exercise habits, medications, grooming schedules, and more. Senior pets are at higher risk for developing health issues such as arthritis and diabetes, which require monitoring and treatment if they occur.

The following are areas to pay attention to as your pet enters their golden years:

Weight Management

Being overweight can make your pet more susceptible to a number of health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. However, it is sometimes more difficult for older pets to maintain a healthy weight due to decreased levels of activity. If your pet has gained weight since their last visit to the vet, talk with your vet about ways to reduce it safely while continuing proper nutrition and exercise. Your vet can advise you on the healthiest weight range for you pet, as well as the best diet and exercise routine for their long-term health.

Dental Care

When it comes to your pet’s health, it’s important to keep your eye on the future. Certain health care matters, such as dental care, require your attention from your pet’s earliest years onward.  As your pet ages, there is a greater likelihood that dental issues will arise. If you don’t take care of your pet’s teeth regularly, it could lead to dental infections and even extractions. Regardless of your cat or dog’s age, make a habit of brushing their teeth regularly. This will help ensure that their teeth last a lifetime.

Hearing and Vision

Changes to hearing and vision are more common in older pets. Keep an eye out for signs that your pet’s senses aren’t as keen as they once were. For example, if your cat or dog is slower to perk up when you call their name or seems to have trouble navigating the housue, it could be a sign of a larger issue. If you’re concerned that your pet may be struggling to hear or see, reach out to your vet. While some diseases that cause hearing or vision loss are chronic, many can be treated.

Playtime and Routine

Your senior pet’s age doesn’t mean you can’t continue enjoying your favorite games and activities together. Many older dogs and cats are still playful and active well into their old age.  If your pet still seems comfortable with daily activities like going for walks, playing with their toys, and jumping onto favorite perches, there is no need to change their routines. However, if your pet’s age or behavior gives you cause for concern, reach out to your vet. Often, your vet can recommend simple ways to make life easier for your aging pet. For example, items like pet stairs or raised food and water bowls can help older cats and dogs navigate their homes more comfortably.

Conclusion

Remember, caring for your aging pet doesn’t have to be a huge burden. With the right care, your senior pet can live a long and healthy life. The most important thing is ensuring your pet is happy and healthy. If they are, they’ll enjoy their golden years with you!

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