Your pet will always be your fur baby regardless of their age. Your furry friends have been with you for years and are just as much a part of the family as anyone. The love you feel for your senior pet doesn’t change when they get old, but the way you take care of them may.
As the years go by your loyal companions are going to need some changes in their care routine. Here are some useful tips to keep your senior citizen pets happy and healthy throughout their golden years.
Look for Signs Your Pet is Aging
One of the best things you can do for an older pet is pay close attention to their health. Problems are bound to arise. Nipping them in the bud can be the difference between a quick trip to the vet and a serious issue.
Dogs weren’t all made the same and every breed has a tendency towards different conditions. For example, IVDD effects 25% off dachshunds and due to irresponsible breeding practices Degenerative Myelopathy deeply effects the German Shepherd breed. Make sure you read up on specific health information about your breed or as close to it as you can get. That way you’ve got specialized and accurate info for your pet.
Signs of Aging Can Include:
2. Cognitive disorders
4. Dental disease
5. Vision problems
6. Intestinal problems
7. Kidney Disease
Take the time to educate yourself about the common conditions that could affect your dog’s breed. Knowing the signs to watch for and asking your Vet the right questions can lead to a quicker diagnosis, possible disease prevention, and better care for your pet.
Get Your Aging Pet the Care They Need
Aging Pets Need More Checkups
While younger pets may only need to go see the vet when they have an issue, aging pets require a little more care and greatly benefit from regular checkups.
This will help you catch any of those warning signs in the earliest stages and is one of the best things you can do for your animal. How often your pet is going to need to see the vet is going to depend a lot on their breed, size, and age. Younger pets will only need to go about once a year, while newborns may need to go as often as every month.
As a general rule, cats and dogs above the age of seven should go see their vet twice a year. The idea behind this is to shrink the window in which your animal could have an undetected illness. Visiting the vet every six months may sound like a lot, but it’s a worthwhile investment in your animal’s health and wellness.
Senior Pets Can’t Move Like They Used To
That doesn’t mean they should stop exercising. Older animals can develop all kinds of additional health problems from obesity if they aren’t getting enough exercise. At the same time, they aren’t going to be able to go jogging with you like they used to.
With that in mind, you’ll want to be keeping an eye out for the first signs of them slowing down. This can include your pet struggling to stand up after laying down or losing balance while walking. Joint pain is another common development and can be spotted by keeping a close eye on how your pet lays down and stands up.
Sometimes when a pet starts to experience severe joint pain and difficulty standing, wheelchairs can be an option. Pet wheelchairs are often stigmatized but they can be an effective care option for your pet. Many people are misguided into believing your dog must be completely paralyzed to use a wheelchair, and that’s not true! Being in a hind-leg wheelchair won’t stop them from moving around, in fact it can help them get around better and faster! Even a dog walking on all four legs can benefit from a wheelchair. Wheelchairs offer support and stability and it can help alleviate their pain by removing pressure on aching joints.
Give an Aging Pet a Little Extra Attention
Most of us remember what it was like when we got our first pet. We never left the young animal’s side. We showered them with attention and kindness because they were the newest part of our family.
Most of us still treat our pets well, but we just don’t have quite the same enthusiasm as we did on day one. Older pets tend to receive less attention, if not less love than younger ones do.
One of the best ways to show comfort and bond with your aging pet is to let them sleep with you. Letting your pet into your bed is a great way to make sure that they feel connected with you and is also extremely cute. Just saying.
We all love our older pets just as much as our younger ones. They’ve stuck with us and now we’re returning the favor. Caring for your aging pet all comes down to monitoring their health signs, giving them love and attention, and making sure they exercise.
Check all of these boxes and enjoy the golden years with your special animal. There’s nothing quite like it.
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