Older pets need extra, special care in protecting their longevity, and making specific changes for their well-being is only natural. Making sure of the longer and better lives of your senior pets are entirely possible with the developments made in veterinary medicine and improved nutrition in the past years.
Each kind of animal is unique and different, and their healthy aging depends on different factors such as the genetics of the pet, diet, and environment. You can tell that the pet belongs to the senior group through some indicators such as if it is 6-10 years old, while cats at 11-14. A lot of pets can live longer than their senior years and those animals were certainly filled with wisdom and affection by their owners.
Watching your pets grow into a large and dependable pet from being a tiny ‘energy’ fur-ball is such a satisfying feeling. However, as both animal and human get older, there are changes that needed to be made.
South Bellmore Veterinary Group would like you to be committed to ensuring the good wellbeing of your older pets. Keep them happy and healthy all the time with the following tips:
Visit vet on a regular basis
It is very important to schedule regular visits to your vet as your pet gets older. Healthy-looking senior pets are still advised to have checkup twice a year. In particular, there are two types of changes that happen to pets as they get older which are: age-related and disease-related. From being tiny beings that have a lot of energy, older pets tend to have a decrease in activity and experience reduced vision and hearing as well as increased in sleeping. Your pets can prevent some diseases such as kidney or heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, dental problems and cognitive dysfunction if they were diagnosed early.
South Bellmore Veterinary Group discussed in their previous post on how to choose the right vet for your pets since it is important to make sure that he is capable of taking good care of your pets. A skilled vet is very good in knowing subtle changes in your pets since such can also mean health problems because pets are good at hiding pain and illness. Always be sensitive and aware of some changes occurring in your pets, especially if they’re older. Consult your vet right away once you notice some changes in your pet’s behavior, energy level, appetite, thirst, toilet habits or mobility.
Go on a proper diet
Ensuring a well-balanced diet is also important to animals, especially as they grow older. South Bellmore Veterinary Group recommends high-nutrient, easily-digested foods for senior pets since they have a slower metabolism and need a smaller amount of calories. Get recommendations from your trusted vet and have a good list of quality pet food brands, ingredients or specific formulas in improving or helping the medical condition of your pets.
Watch its weight
South Bellmore Veterinary Group needs you to make sure of the healthy weight of your pets. Keeping the right weight for the senior pets involves giving them the proper amount of nutrition. Overfeeding is sometimes the case for some households since other pet owners were not aware of how much their pet is actually eating every day. You must avoid overfeeding since it can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases, and it can also put stress on the joints of your older pets and can shorten their lifespan. Ensure that the vet is properly monitoring the weight of your pets whenever you’re going to visit him for your pet’s checkup.
Perform physical activity
Not because your pets are older, you won’t engage them anymore in any kind of physical activities. Experts suggest making them do mild physical activities such as short walks, swimming for dogs, or playtime for cats. Remember that a proper exercise greatly contributes to a healthy weight and heart as well as slowing joint degeneration. As previously stated, be alert when it comes to older pets, so if they look tired, then stop the activity right away. Keep their mind active too by doing mental exercise every day which may include interactive toys or food puzzles.
Ensure a good oral health
As your pet gets older, you need to be very wary of their dental hygiene. In order to avoid gum disease, infection, and other related diseases, you need to make sure that your vet does the professional cleaning to your pets and you must also perform in-home brushing between cleanings. You may include softer treats and canned food for easier chewing in the diet of your older pets.
Guarantee their comfort and safety
Get rid of objects that can be dangerous to your older pets. If you were unable to take care of your pets because of your busy schedules, create a safe place for them by using baby gates. Put all the necessity of your pets downstairs, especially if your pet has arthritis and has trouble climbing the stairs. Putting stepstools or pet ramps are also advised. Don’t give them a hard time finding their litter boxes, so put those in places that can be easily reached by your pets. Create a soft sleeping place for older pets as well and put more blankets or heated pet bed.
Show your affection
Showing your older pets how much you care for them and love them will always mean a lot. Give them a good belly rub or a gentle massage often. You need to do regular grooming for your pets as well and spend quality time together. Despite your busy schedule, giving your pet big hugs whenever you got home can already be an indicator of your care and love. South Bellmore Veterinary Group would like you to enjoy your special bond with them every day.