Older dogs and cats require a little extra love and care, whether they’re new to your home or they’ve been with you for years.
Here’s what you need to know.
Aging is a normal part of life, and at some point all four legged friends become seniors. The important thing to know is that senior dogs have different care requirements than young ones!
First, you must know what to look for. Common medical problems to watch out for in older pets, can be: arthritis, kidney disease, dental disease, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, urinary incontinence and cancer. Some of these are easier for us humans to notice than others, which is why it’s important to note even the slightest changes in your pet. Jot down anything you notice in a journal (for example, changes in thirst or appetite, bodily functions, sleeping patterns, energy levels, mental awareness, lumps or bumps) and then take it to your veterinarian appointments.
Speaking of vet appointments, your older animal needs to head there more often. They should be seeing the vet at least twice a year! If you're worried about costs when it comes to caring for a senior pet, think about pet insurance.
In an effort to keep your pet happy and healthy at an older age, adjust their diet as needed. A balanced diet plays a big role in maintaining your pet's health throughout their lives. Older fur-ends are at higher risk of developing obesity since they no longer have the same levels of energy as before. So it is important to find the best food that is specially designed for senior animals in order to prevent weight gain. These are often low in fat and have fewer calories that will complement the nutritional needs of your pet! Here is a pet food finder to use if you're unsure of the best fit for your bestie: PawDiet.
Your aging pet's food is only a small part of the equation to keeping them healthy. Another important part of this is regular exercise! We all know excise is important their entire lives, but it can be difficult to remember to keep them active once they get lazy. Physical activities will help your dog maintain their ideal weight and will also have a beneficial impact on their overall health. Regular walks and light jogs if they are able to run are an easy way to help them exercise. As a dog ages, they have lower energy levels, so even though your pup was able to run for half an hour before, they might not be able to do it once they get older... Every minute counts!
Most important of all, spend every second you get with your beloved pets as they age. It'll improve your mood, but it'll mean the world to them. Never forget that though they're only here for a part of our lives, we are here for all of theirs.