Practical Tips to Help Pets Age Gracefully

The more time we spend with our pets, the easier it is to see the changes that come with aging. Visible changes such as a dog’s hair turning gray, slowing down, and joints getting stiffer – aging isn’t easy for them either. 

However, adopting proactive measures can significantly improve a pet’s quality of life during their senior years. Here are some tips on how you can help your pet age gracefully:

Well, Seniors Have Their Own Basic Needs

Senior pets often have unexpected necessities compared to their more youthful partners. The needs of a senior dog or cat can be related to specific medical problems they’ve developed. Ensuring that a pe

We here have some basic ways to deal with your senior pet’s necessities:

Schedule regular vet visits

Veterinary check-ups should become more frequent as your pet ages. In addition, if your pet is diagnosed with a condition, the possibility of regular vet visits increases. 

Start giving your pet high-quality food.

Well, if there is an age for pets to be fed high-quality food – it is old age. An older pet has different nutritional needs than a younger pup. So give your pet the best quality food and treats to ensure a happy and healthy later life.

Watch out for signs of aging.

While your pet cannot verbally communicate when they feel weak, their bones are stiff, or they are tired, other signs and symptoms will be visible. 

Constant togetherness is going to cheer them up!

Mid-aged pets can be left alone for 4 hours, but older pets may require more consistent companionship. For one thing, they may have certain conditions that need to be monitored, but it can also be comforting for them to be closer to you in their later years.

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
drag bag for paralyzed dog
Walkin’ Drag Bag

Common Health Problems in Senior Pets and Their Treatments

Elderly pets, like humans, have a wide range of health issues. Luckily, many of the health issues that affect elderly pets are treatable. Everything from arthritis to urinary retention generally has a solution. 

You may learn what you can do if your pet has trouble walking or controlling its bladder.

The following are some of the most common health issues seen in elderly pets:

Issues with Movement

large dog wheelchair

Mobility issues are one of the pet’s most common signs of aging. Fortunately, there are several ways to cater to your elderly pet’s disabilities and make their life a little easier. We’ll review the symptoms of mobility issues first and then offer some solutions.

The following are symptoms of arthritis and mobility issues:

  • Limping
  • Siting or standing difficulties
  • Fear of jumping, running, or climbing stairs
  • Weight gain, reduced activity, or lack of interest in playing
  • Changes in attitude or behavior

Here are some suggestions for dealing with your senior pet’s mobility issues:

Raise the food bowl

Raising the food bowl is generally a good practice for any pet, especially dogs. It is even more essential for those pets in their golden years. Their reduced mobility makes it more difficult to lower their heads to a bowl placed on the ground.

Consider using anti-slip socks or toe grips

Toe grips and non-slip socks make it a lot easier for pets to walk around, particularly on wood or tile floors. In addition, these provide traction on some very smooth and slick surfaces.

Get them better bedding

Comfortable and soft bedding will undoubtedly benefit your pet’s stiff and sore joints.

Incontinence

Bichone Frise in a Peeper Male Wrap Belly Band for dogs

Incontinence is a widely known health issue in senior pets, both dogs and cats. Some possible reasons for loss of bladder control include hormonal imbalance, spinal and neurological issues, or aging.

It’s important to realize that you should never punish a pet for getting wet. Pet stains can always be removed and cleaned, but negative training may be more challenging to reverse. The best thing you can do is to be more supportive of your animal companion.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with incontinence in your senior pets:

Use doggy doors or pee pads

Doggy doors and pee pads can be effective for pets who have trouble controlling their bladder. While pee pads are often quicker and less expensive. A doggy door allows for quick and easy access to the outside whenever your dog needs to go. Training your older dog to use pee pads and installing a doggy door are viable options.

Look for a better litter box

Older cats with mobility issues may have difficulty stepping into their litter box, causing them to relieve themselves elsewhere in the house. If your cat struggles with mobility, look for a litter box with a lower entry point. These enable your pet to walk right into the box without jumping.

Inability to Control One’s Body Temperature

Older pets cannot control their body temperature as they should. So you’ll want to monitor their well-being during any extreme temperature or weather, whether it’s snowing or a heatwave.

During adverse weather, keep your senior pet warm, dry, and indoors, except when exercising or going to the bathroom.

Changes in Behavior

Changes in behavior in adult dogs are not unusual.

These can occur for various reasons, from physical pain to neurological diseases. Pets are like humans and can suffer from cognitive dysfunction. As pets age, changes in their physical well-being can have an impact on their mental well-being.

Common behavioral changes in older pets are listed below:

  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Becoming more vocal
  • Human interaction has decreased
  • Heightened irritability
  • Incontinence
  • Increased wandering due to repetitive activity
  • Sleep cycle shifts

Nutrition and Diet for Senior Pets

The nutritional requirements of a pet do change and evolve as they age. Therefore, keeping up with your pet’s dietary needs is vital to ensure a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Though genes and luck play a part, the care you take in feeding your pet is equally important.

While there is no gold standard for feeding senior pets, there are some general rules to follow. Nutritional needs and supplement use of a pet are discussed further below.

Supplements You Need to Provide to Seniors to Keep Them Healthy

Our senior pets can benefit from daily supplements. For example, glucosamine may help support the cartilage in the joints of older dogs.

Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any supplements. Here are a few different pet supplements for senior pets:

Prebiotics and Probiotics

There are prebiotics and probiotics for dogs, as well as prebiotics and probiotics for cats. Canine supplements support a pet’s digestive system and aid in proper digestion in both dogs and cats.

Calming

These supplements are made with ingredients like chamomile and L-Tryptophan and are intended to calm pets during stressful situations like travel, grooming, thunderstorms, and fireworks.

Skin and Coat

Supplements for dogs use fatty acids to protect and promote the health of their skin and coat. These work in the same way that human fish oil supplements do.

Hip and Joint

Some supplements are specifically designed to help a dog’s hips and joints. They combine glucosamine with other essential ingredients to create a supplement that promotes joint health and overall flexibility and mobility.

Exercise for Your Senior Pets

Like all pets, senior pets require exercise. Staying active and continued mobility are crucial for a pet to live a happy life. However, as they age, movement becomes more difficult. Flexibility and mobility are two other issues that inhibit proper exercise.

Fortunately, numerous alternatives to walking and running for exercising your pet are available.

Here are a few exercises for senior pets:

Low-Impact Exercises

While short daily walks are suggested, pet parents should try swimming or yoga with their dogs instead. Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise for senior dogs.

Training and Socializing

You can also try regular training and socialization with your older dog. It is never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks or make new friends. Keep your older dog around other dogs their age when socializing them. They won’t have to worry about the puppy antics and will still get their daily dose of exercise and socialization.

Grooming for Elder Furry Pets

While any pet can benefit from regular grooming, the elderly often require it regularly and consistently. Daily brushing or combing has numerous benefits for your pet’s well-being, particularly for dogs and cats with certain coat types.

Regular grooming removes loose hair and even improves blood circulation. This leads to healthy skin and coat and thus a healthy pet.

Conclusion

Help your senior dog live a happy, pain-free life. Meaning you can enjoy many memorable moments as your dog ages gracefully into its golden years.

Guest Author:
Arjun Chandravat

Arjun is a pet enthusiast whose mission is to make the life of you and your pets easier and more enjoyable. Pets improve our lives, offer us companionship, help us feel more connected with the world, and provide the unrivaled joy of a warm little body to snuggle with. With my blog “Pets Diaries, “my goal is to help pet parents provide the best possible life for their pet by offering advice on everything from health and lifestyle to activities for your pet, training tips, and food recommendations.

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