Similar to humans, senior pets need more attention, care, and love. The progress made in veterinary medicine made it easier to achieve longer and better lives for your pets. Understand that as time passes, changes were necessary to ensure the good health of your loved animals.
The pet’s genetics, diet, and environment are some of the factors to consider in ensuring the healthy aging of your pets. Telling whether the pet belongs to the senior group or not depends on some indicators, and one is if the pet is 6-10 years old or 11-14 years old for cats. Give your pets with wisdom and affection all the time as well so that they will live longer.
You can maintain the healthy condition of your older pets and this post prepared by South Bellmore Veterinary Group will help you. The first thing that you need to make sure of is the regular checkup of your pet to its vet. You are still advised to have your older pets go through checkups at least twice a year even though they look very healthy. You can see obvious changes on pets once they got older and it can be about their age or disease-related. You will notice a decrease in activity and reduced vision and hearing, along with an increase in sleeping on senior pets. And when it comes to diseases, early diagnosis can prevent minor or major diseases such as kidney or heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, dental problems or cognitive dysfunction.
With the skills of your trusted vet, he will notice if there were subtle changes in your pets which can also mean some health problems since pets are often very good at hiding pain and illnesses. You should be quick in noticing if there are changes happening to your senior pets and contact your vet once you notice a few changes in your pet’s behavior, energy level, appetite, thirst, toilet habits or mobility.
Second, give your pets a proper diet. Both humans and animals need to maintain a well-balanced diet in order to stay healthy. Experts suggest high-nutrient, easily-digested foods especially to senior pets because this age group have a slower metabolism and need fewer calories. You can ask your vet for a list of quality pet food brands, ingredients or some formulas that can help improve the medical condition of your older pets.
The third is looking after the weight of your pets. If you’re giving the proper amount of nutrition to your pets then their healthy weight is guaranteed. As much as possible, overfeeding shouldn’t be done on your senior pets because this can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases and this can as well put stress on your pet’s joints and even shorten their lifespan. You and your vet should make sure of the proper monitoring of your pet’s weight every checkup.
The fourth highlights the pivotal role of physical activity. You don’t need to make your pets do extreme activities to tell that they’re doing proper exercise, even mild activities are enough especially for older pets. You can have short walks with them, swim with your dogs or simply play with your cats. Physical activity is crucial to ensure a healthy weight and heart and slowing joint degeneration. When your pets seem tired, quickly stop the activity since you don’t want to put a lot of burden on them, right? Their mental health, on the other hand, is also as important as their physical health. South Bellmore Veterinary Group suggests making sure to do regular mental exercise as well that may include interactive toys or food puzzles.
Fifth is about their oral health. You also need to put attention on the dental hygiene of your senior pets. You don’t want them to have gum disease, infection, and other related diseases, right? So whenever you visit your vet, see to it that he does some professional cleaning to your pets. You should do in-home brushing too in between cleanings.
Our sixth important thing to remember is that animals need comfort and safety. Put aside dangerous objects on the path of your senior pets. You can install baby gates to ensure their safety whenever you leave them at home. Place all their basic needs downstairs if they are having a hard time climbing the stairs or if the pet has arthritis. You may also consider putting stepstools or pet ramps. Make the litter boxes reachable to your older pets as well, and create a soft sleeping place for them too with more blankets or heated pet bed.
Lastly, send your love to your pets through physical touches. You can give them a good belly rub or a gentle massage. Spending quality time together doesn’t need to be expensive or requires a lot of time, grooming them yourself can be enough bonding time. Don’t forget to give them big hugs whenever you got home from work or school since according to South Bellmore Veterinary Group it would mean a lot to your pets. Show your affection through simple things.