If your pet is approaching the senior years of life, you need to make changes in their daily care. Most people know that senior pets have different care needs than younger pets. The issue is knowing when your furry friend is considered a senior.
The age factor largely depends on the individual pet as it varies by size and breed. Large breeds tend to age faster than small breeds. As a pet parent, you should look for signs of aging and make the necessary adjustments for your pet. The following are senior care tips.
Senior Pet Nutrition
If your dog shows signs of aging, it may be time to change their diet. When shopping for pet food, look for age-appropriate meals that suit your dog’s lifestyle and age. Change your pet’s diet to maintain a healthy weight.
Overweight pets are more likely to develop various illnesses. Read labels and find out the calories in the pet foods you buy. You can also use supplements to fortify your pet’s diet. If your senior dog has a health condition, consider a special diet.
Keeping Your Pet Active
As pets age, they require plenty of exercise. In most cases, they get to a point where activity becomes difficult due to different health issues. If your pet shows reduced activity or energy levels, it is a good idea to visit the vet.
Slowing down is not necessarily a sign of aging. It could be a symptom of a health condition. Inactivity can affect metabolism and can lead to loss of muscle mass, which speeds up the aging process.
Regular Visits To The Vet
As your pet gets older, you should schedule regular visits to the vet for checkups. Biannual exams and bloodwork checks are essential for senior pets. Bloodwork helps monitor blood cells and ensure healthy liver and kidney function.
Regular checkup helps detect health conditions in the early stages. Remember, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. The vet can also recommend the best diet and exercise program for your senior pet.
Your senior pet can benefit from special accommodations such as soft bedding or a heated dog bed. Investing in an orthopedic bed can be helpful for your pet, which may be suffering from arthritis and other issues.
Installing ramps and carpeting or rugs can make your home more comfortable for your furry family member. It can make it easier for a pet with mobility issues to get around. Anything you can do to relieve pain will help improve your pet’s quality of life.
Schedule Regular Grooming
Regular brushing helps keep the coat and skin healthy by stimulating oil production. Look for issues such as a thin or brittle coat, dry skin, sore spots, and body odor. Check the teeth and ears, and make sure they are clean and free from debris and pests.
Apart from regular at-home grooming, schedule professional grooming several times a year. Professionals have the best tools and skills to ensure effective grooming.
If your senior pet has mobility issues, it may help to provide a sling or harness. It will make walking or movement easier. Making minor adjustments in your home can help. Installing extra lighting will make it easier for a pet losing its vision to get around.
For more about senior care, visit Pearl River Animal Hospital at our Pearl River, New York office. Call (845) 735-3213 to schedule an appointment today.