Aging is inevitable. It starts slowly and gradually. Our pets also age with time and become less active. As our pets reach their senior age, they require special attention and care. Old age can lead to many health issues in pets like kidney disease, arthritis, hearing and sight loss, and even cancer. Thus, it’s imperative to care for aging pets.
If you have a senior pet at home and want to know how to care for them, we have listed down a few care tips.
- Watch for changes in behavior: Though our pets can’t speak to us about their health, they sure communicate to us through their behaviors. Once your pet has reached a certain age, you must be more vigilant about their health. Observe how are they walking, are they eating well, are they behaving unusually. Keep track of their food and water consumption; look for signs of appetite loss and frequent urination.
- Regular Vet Visits: A regular visit to the vet is one of the essential things every pet parent should do. A regular visit to the Virginia Beach veterinary hospital will ensure age-related health illnesses get tracked in time.
- Diet : The dietary needs of our pets keep changing as they grow old. Since senior pets are not as active as they used to be before, they need fewer calories. Weight gain is another problem that may arise due to uncontrolled feeding. Once your pet reaches senior years, consult your vet on what diet to put him on.
- Regular workout and exercise: Your senior pet care regime must include daily workout and exercise sessions. But don’t expect your pet to be as active as he used to be. Simple activities like running, jumping, and walking will keep your aging pets’ joints and muscles healthy. Such exercises are also suitable for their mental stimulation.
- Be Watchful of Arthritis: As pets age, their bones and joints start to weaken. Senior pets can develop arthritis, which can be painful for them. If you have a senior pet at home, look for arthritis symptoms like stiff joints, trouble in standing and sitting, unable to climb stairs, and reduced activeness.
In case you notice any of these signs, take your pets to the vet. You should also consider making changes in their diet and lifestyle. Veterinarian Virginia Beach VA advises responsible pet parents not to give their pets over-the-counter medicines for health problems like arthritis.
- Make Changes in Your Home: Another simple step to ease discomfort in aging pets to make their surroundings senior-pet friendly. If you have an aging dog who can’t walk around easily, get him an orthopedic bed.
Keep food and water near their resting area for their convenience. Don’t forget to keep them warm and insulated through the night.
- Have Patience: It’s not uncommon for senior pets to lose sight or hearing ability. Adjusting with a deteriorating sense of sight or hearing is as frustrating for our pets as it is for humans. If your senior pet is also suffering from poor sight or has developed hearing impairment, be patient with them. Give them time and space to adjust to their new condition.