March 8, 2019 TVAH

Caring for Your Senior Pet

We all want to see our pets live long, happy lives. Whether we adopt them as kittens or puppies, or we select an older pet from a shelter, the goal is always to give them the best care that we can.

But because senior pet care can be very different from watching after a young pet, we wanted to offer you some valuable tips. If your dog or cat has reached the age of six or so, you can begin thinking of them as an “older” pet, and these items will begin to apply to their healthcare.

Choosing the right food. Your older pet’s nutritional needs are different now, so make sure you choose a food that offers the right mix of nutrients for senior dogs or cats.

Exercise. Your pet does still need exercise, although they might not be up for long jogs as they age. Follow their cues just as you would follow your own. Regular exercise, appropriate for their age and health, can help to keep their weight reasonable.

Watch for mobility issues. Senior pets can develop some of the same aches and pains as older humans. Watch for limping or resistance to using stairs. Some pets will do better with raised food and water bowls at this time, so that they don’t have to bend over and strain their neck and back muscles.

Dental care. It’s never too late to start a dental routine with your pet! Just like humans, dogs and cats tend to develop more problems with their teeth and gums as they age. Regular dental care with your veterinarian is important, as well as brushing teeth at home.

Wellness exams. Because prevention is so important, senior pet care should include wellness exams twice per year. If a problem does develop, it’s more easily treated when we catch it early.

If your pet is reaching the older ages, please give us a call to schedule a visit. We can review more tips for senior pet care, help you identify their nutrition needs, and answer any questions you might have about keeping your pet healthy and comfortable as they age.


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