As your pet gets older, the care and attention that he or she requires will change. Depending on a dog’s size, he or she may be considered a senior anywhere from age five to age eight. Cats are generally considered to be seniors by the age of ten. Providing senior pets with the right care will keep them happy and healthy during their golden years.
- Change Diet Accordingly- When your pet begins to display signs of aging, you may need to switch to a pet food designed specifically for seniors. Pets’ dietary needs change during their senior years, and you may notice that your pet is gaining or losing weight. Animals often become inactive as they age, making it easier for them to become overweight. Older pets can also begin to eat less food, putting them at risk of becoming underweight. Adjust the amount of food you provide to match your pet’s needs. If your pet experiences sudden or chronic weight loss or gain, then a veterinary check-up is recommended. Dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, can also help keep your pet’s mind and body healthy.
- Provide Comfortable Conditions- Aging pets may experience stiffness and pain in their joints due to arthritis. Be sure to place a supportive bed that your pet can easily lay down in and stand up from in a warm area. Older pets may also benefit from ramps or steps to help them access raised areas, such as the inside of your car.
- Visit Your Veterinarian Regularly- Yearly check-ups with your pet’s veterinarian are recommended for healthy aging. A veterinarian can help determine the care that is necessary to meet your older pet’s health requirements. If you notice any changes in your senior pet’s habits or appearance, then you should schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. It's important to determine if those changes are the result of a serious condition.
At ABC Veterinary Group, we can help you keep your pet comfortable and healthy through every stage of life. To learn more information about caring for your senior pet, call us today at (858) 278-1825.