Simple Ways to Ensure a High Quality of Life for Your Senior Pet
Pets are living longer than ever before, thanks to improvements in veterinary care and diet, among other factors. Nonetheless, just like humans, our furry friends experience changes in their bodies and minds as the years progress. By the time they approach their senior years, pets are more at risk for various challenges like limited mobility, loss of hearing and/or vision, heart disease, and joint issues.
As owners, it’s up to us to ensure that our pets maintain a high quality of life during this time. Not only will this help them stay healthy and happy during the time they have left on earth, but it will allow them to pass away with dignity and respect when the time comes. That’s why we’ve provided some practical tips below for how you can care for your senior pet.
Come to the vet twice a year.
You might be used to taking your pet to the vet once a year. That’s usually enough when they are younger, but as pets approach their golden years, it’s important to take them at least every six months. That way, you can be sure to stay ahead of health issues that arise and start treating them early. Taking your pet to a reputable vet like Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital can go a long way in providing your senior pet with the highest quality of life possible. Just be sure to look over our COVID-19 updates and policies before scheduling an appointment.
Adjust their diet.
Most of the time, a pet's nutritional needs change as they get older. If your furry companion is losing or gaining weight more significantly than normal, research the various foods that can provide them with the right nutrition. Factor in customer reviews and quality of ingredients when selecting a food for your pet.
Keep them well-groomed.
When your pet reaches their senior years, be vigilant about grooming them. Not only are grooming sessions a great time to feel your pet for changes in condition, it’s not uncommon for a pet’s fur to become more matted when they are less active. Running a brush or comb through the fur can make a big difference in keeping it untangled. And be sure to bathe your pet regularly as well, particularly if they become incontinent.
Prioritize dental health.
Another thing to consider is that pets’ teeth are more susceptible to decay and infection as they age. In addition to causing significant pain, these issues can increase the risk for heart and kidney disease. Try to brush your senior pet’s teeth once a day, and look into dental products like drops and chews that can help stave off periodontal disease. If your furry friend has any loose or infected teeth, take them in for professional cleaning.
Modify their exercise routine.
Finally, pets still need exercise, even when they get older. Not only does regular physical activity help pets fight off disease, but keeping their muscles engaged can help minimize joint issues. Nonetheless, you will likely need to make some changes to your senior pet’s exercise routine. For instance, they might benefit from taking long, slow walks rather than the runs or jogs of their younger years. Moreover, you will want to watch your pet to make sure they are not overheating, suffering joint pain, having trouble seeing or hearing, and so on.
The best way we can show our love to our furry companions is to give them the life they deserve in their golden years. Make sure you are taking your senior pet to the vet at least twice a year, make any necessary adjustments to their diet, and groom them regularly. Also, brush their teeth each day, and ensure they are getting good exercise. Most importantly, remember to shower your pet with lots of affection day in and day out!
For the best insights into your pet’s health and happiness, partner with Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital!