Loving any senior pet is a worthwhile endeavor, but if you’ve raised your pet from puppy or kitten hood, escorting him or her through the golden years may be a sweeter and greater accomplishment, even still.
With the right combination of nutrition, healthy lifestyle, disease prevention, and veterinary care, your pet could possibly sail through the senior years and live well past the typical age for his or her breed. You may be wondering what tenets of senior pet care are most important, and that’s where we come in!
Senior Pet Care
You are probably very aligned with your pet’s habits and behavioral patterns, and your efforts in senior pet care will likely pick up these telling signs associated with illness:
- Vision loss
- Dental problems (foul odor in mouth)
- Appetite changes
- Withdrawn or aggressive behavior
- Obvious pain or stiffness
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Water intake levels and urine output changes
- Any body masses or ulcerations
Senior pet care includes keeping your pet active. We know it’s hard for a senior pet to get moving, and a senior pet left to his or her own devices may opt to snooze the day away. Many senior pets are affected by arthritis, joint stiffness, or pain, and this can lead to muscle loss and decreased activity levels. Energy requirements drop accordingly and food measurements should likewise be reduced to prevent obesity and associated illnesses.
The Importance of Dental Care
A big part of your senior pet’s wellness care includes maintaining health in the mouth, teeth, and gums. Periodontal disease is commonly found in senior pets, and the problems aren’t only seen at meal time. While inappetance is a typical result, your pet may have bad breath, oral pain, bleeding, and missing teeth. Bacteria can also leave the mouth, enter the bloodstream, and cause damage in your pet’s liver, kidneys, and the heart.
Senior pet care includes routine wellness checks twice a year. Most diseases that affect senior pets can be detected early through certain diagnostic tests, and if addressed properly, we can slow progression leading to a longer, and fuller, life. Blood and urine screenings, plus chest and abdominal radiographs give us a more complete picture of your pet’s health, and can direct any necessary changes in senior pet care at home.
Supporting A Senior Pet
Your senior pet may need very little as time goes by. A warm, inviting bed in an area where her or she won’t be easily disrupted (but not too far away!) paired with a daily schedule he or she can count on go a long toward senior health. However, some senior pets do require nutritional changes, and we can help find the right food for your pet based on his or her health needs.
Keep up with the love and cuddles, lots of fresh water, and healthy physical interaction throughout the golden years, and we’re positive your pet will remain fine and fit.
Also, increase bathroom breaks and the number of accessible litter boxes to reduce the possibility of accidents.
We hope you’ll let us know if you have any questions about senior pet care. We’re always happy to help your pet!