Younger pets usually require supervision and constant care to keep them from getting into mischief or dangerous situations. When they reach old age, the reasons for caring for them change. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends pet owners to look after the needs of their older pets more. Senior pets tend to develop chronic ailments such as diabetes. If you have aging pets in your home, here’s what you should know about caring for them.
Provide Regular Exercise
Regular exercise enables your pet to maintain optimal health. Your veterinarian can give an exercise program based on your pet’s physical condition. Start slowly and strengthen your pet’s stamina with light walks. Senior pets have lower levels of energy. Maximize their ability by going slow but consistent.
Keep Routine Vet Checks
The weakening immune system of older pets makes them more susceptible to developing myriad health conditions. Most veterinarians recommend a biannual health check for them. This will help monitor your pet’s overall health and well-being. It will also allow your pet to receive early treatments for any brewing ailments.
Change the Diet
Obesity is a common issue among senior pets. Look for food with a formulation suitable for senior pets. This will prevent them from gaining weight. A low-calorie, low-fat diet is best for aging pets because they cannot burn that many calories or fat anymore.
Maintain Parasite Protection and Update Vaccination
Protecting your senior pet from parasites and pathogens continues even during your pet’s senior years. Treatments for internal and external parasites should keep going. You should update your pet’s vaccinations to maintain optimal health even at an old age.
Tend to Oral Health
Tooth loss is another issue in senior pets. That is why older pets should receive proper dental care each time they go in for a vet check. In between checkups, give your senior pets some dental treats and a daily toothbrushing if they are used to it.
Modify Living Space
Senior pets usually develop problems in their joints and bones, giving them mobility issues. To make them comfortable, provide soft, thick mattresses and ramps. You can prevent them from going upstairs by installing baby gates at the bottom of the steps. Help them have more traction and stable footing by lining your floors with rugs and carpets.
Give More Love
Try to give your senior pets more time and attention. They usually experience anxiety and fear when they get older, especially when you leave the house. When you’re home, include them in your daily activities. Make sure they don’t tire themselves too much during walks and playtime. Give them healthy treats and praises, too.
Groom Them Regularly
You can maintain your senior pets’ healthy coats with proper grooming. Brush them regularly to prevent tangles and mats. Use natural shampoos that can nourish and heal your senior pets’ skin.
With proper care and loving attention, your senior pets can continue living a happy and healthy life. At Windermere Animal Hospital, we always encourage pet parents to pay more attention to their senior furry companions. Please visit our clinic in Fishers, Indiana, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 317-434-1600 for appointment scheduling or inquiries regarding our senior pet vet care packages.