TOP TIPS FOR AGEING PETS
Healthcare Tips for Senior Pets
A senior pet – defined as being older than eight years of age – has different health requirements than a younger pet. Here are some great tips to help you keep your senior pet healthy.
1. DON’T FORGET THE HEALTH CHECK-UPS
Make sure your senior pet has regular visits to the vet. It is recommended that senior pets should be examined twice a year, even more so if they have known health issues. A thorough physical examination and screening tests may reveal health issues that can impact your pet’s life and comfort level, such as dental disease, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and more. Our Senior Health Program is a fantastic and economical way for you to achieve this.
2. NOTE ANY BEHAVIOUR CHANGES IN YOUR PET
Watch your senior pet’s behaviour carefully. This is important for all pets but doubly so for ageing ones. Changes in your pet’s behaviour may be a symptom of disease. Watch specifically for changes in appetite and water consumption. Watch for changes in urinary and bowel habits and alterations in sleep routines. If your cat or dog suddenly becomes irritable for no reason, it may be because he or she is in pain, having difficulty seeing, or having a hard time hearing properly. Any changes in your senior pet’s routines or behaviours should prompt you to contact us.
3. MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOUR PET TO GET AROUND
Be aware that many ageing pets have pain caused by arthritis or other health issues that make it difficult for them to get around as well as they used to. Consider providing ramps or stairs to allow older pets to access furniture or beds. Replacing stairs with ramps (where possible) may make it easier for dogs to get up and down, and carpeting on slippery floors may help your dog maintain its footing. Senior dogs may also appreciate assistance getting into and out of the car.
4. CHOOSE AN AGE-APPROPRIATE DIET FOR YOUR PET
Dietary requirements change as your pet ages. It’s important that you provide a pet food that is age appropriate. Some older pets tend to gain weight and may need a diet that helps prevent this. Older pets may have chronic illnesses that can be manipulated and/or controlled at least partly through diet or nutritional supplements. We can help you choose an appropriate diet for your senior pet based on their individual nutritional requirements.
5. PIMP OUT YOUR PET’S BED
Provide soft blankets and towels for your senior pet’s bed. This will help them to rest easier and sleep better. There are even special orthopedic beds made for senior dogs, but often a custom cut piece of memory foam will do just as well. In addition to having a denser form to help cushion your senior pet’s ageing joints, some orthopaedic beds can be outfitted with a heat source, which increases circulation and reduces stiffness — perfect for pets with arthritis.