5 Healthcare Tips for Senior Pets
A senior pet has different health requirements than a younger pet. Here are some 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 with your veterinarian. We recommend that senior pets should be examined twice a year, even more so if the pet has serious health issues. A thorough physical examination by your veterinarian 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.
2. NOTE ANY BEHAVIOR CHANGES IN YOUR PET
Watch your senior pet’s behavior carefully. This is important for all pets but especially so for senior pets. Changes in your pet’s behavior may be a symptom of disease. Watch specifically for changes in your pet’s appetite and water consumption. Watch for changes in urinary and bowel habits and alterations in sleep routines. If your pet suddenly becomes irritable for no reason, it may be because he is in pain, having difficulty seeing, or having a hard time hearing properly. Any changes in your senior pet’s routines or behaviors should prompt a consultation with your veterinarian.
3. MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOUR PET TO GET AROUND
Be aware that your senior pet may have pain caused by arthritis or other health issues that make it difficult for him to get around as well as he did when he was younger. Consider providing ramps or stairs to allow your senior pet to access furniture or beds. Ramps on stairs may make it easier for your pet to get up and down the stairs, and carpeting on slippery floors may help your pet gain his footing. Your senior dog may need assistance getting into and out of the car as well.
4. CHOOSE AN AGE-APPROPRIATE DIET FOR YOUR PET
Dietary requirements may change as your pet ages. It's important that you provide your senior pet a pet food that is age appropriate. Some older pets tend to gain weight and may need a diet for less active animals. Others may have difficulty holding their weight and may need a diet with a higher calorie content or better palatability. Older pets also may have diseases that can be manipulated and/or controlled at least partly through diet. Your veterinarian can help you choose an appropriate diet for your senior pet based on your pet’s individual nutritional requirements.
5. GO BIG ON YOUR PET'S BED
Provide soft blankets and towels for your senior pet's bed. This will help him to rest easier and sleep better. There are even special orthopedic beds made for senior pets. The denser form will help cushion your senior pet's aging joints.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 920-498-2808