Pets mean the world to us, and whether you raised your pet from birth or middle-age, helping your pet age gracefully should be a priority. Senior pet care is naturally different from puppy or kitten care, so it is essential that you change your pet care habits as your pet ages. The following tips will help you maintain good health for your senior pet.
Signs of Aging
In general, dogs and cats are considered “senior” sometime between the ages of six and nine. Specifics vary depending on factors like breed, size, and species. Senior pets are more at risk for illnesses and conditions that also affect older adults, like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Senior pets also display typical signs of aging, including:
- Increased or strained urination
- Joint-related problems
- Lumps, bumps, or other skin issues
- Dental disease
- Intestinal problems
- Vision or hearing loss
- Cognitive impairment
Consistent preventative care is always recommended for all pets, but it is strongly encouraged to schedule senior pet care wellness visits twice a year. Pets age more rapidly than humans, so vet visits are important for early detection of any problems.
The Basics of Senior Pet Care
Senior pet care doesn’t end at wellness exams. Adjusting your pet care routine, and regular love and affection, are also needed to keep your aging pet comfortable. Consider the following adjustments:
- Choose the right food to account for changes in metabolism
- Maintain daily exercise routines to help your senior pet keep a healthy weight and reduce pain and stiffness
- Consider using raised food and water bowls, orthopedic beds, and other items for pets with mobility issues
- Pay attention to extremes in temperature and humidity, and use heated beds or cooling pads as needed for temperature-sensitive senior pets
- Begin a daily brushing routine with a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste
If you have any questions about your new senior pet care routines, consult your vet for expert advice.
We Would Love the Opportunity to Care for Your Furry Friends!
Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.
We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.