We love our pets, and we want them to live long, happy, healthy lives. However, as the years go by, our beloved furry friends get older and may encounter the hardships associated with old age. But we can help make getting older easier on our pets by ensuring that we are addressing all of their needs and taking the steps to make the process of aging as smooth as possible.
- Make sure your dog is getting daily moderate exercise to keep them moving and limber. Exercise also prevents weight gain and can keep a pet feeling young and energetic. However, you do not want to over-do it, so keep an eye out for panting and droopy tails.
- Older dogs need a quality diet to ensure they are getting all of the nutrients they require. Also, a dog's diet might need to change with age because they might be able to process certain ingredients as they get older. Consult with your vet to determine what type of diet would be best for your pet.
- Keep your dog regularly groomed and cleaned, while also checking for unusual lumps and bumps on their body.
- To ensure your pet stays flea- and parasite-free, be sure to keep them up-to-date on any preventative treatments, like heartworm prevention and flea/tick treatments.
Exams- Yearly exams are a must in any dog, but particularly so in older dogs. Be sure you are getting your dog checked out at least once a year and tested for liver, kidney, or pancreatic cancer, as well as heart disease.
Consistency- In older dogs, inconsistency can cause unnecessary stress, and an excess of stress can cause a number of health complications. So ensure that you keep a consistent schedule and calm environment to reduce stress on your dog.
Lots of love!- The most important thing you need to do to care for your senior dog is to show them that they are loved! Give them lots of pets and cuddles, and be sure to let them know how much you care!
Exams- Just like dogs, older cats need yearly exams as well. Keeping them up-to-date on vaccinations and regularly tested with fecal exams, blood work, and urinalysis can help identify any health issues and prevent future concerns.
Diet & Weight- Keeping your older cat on a healthy diet and at a proper weight is key to healthy aging. Exercise them with play, and consult your vet on your pet's diet because cat diets need to change as they get older.
Dental Health- Be sure to keep an eye on your cat's dental health because gum disease and decaying teeth can lead to a number of serious health concerns.
Preventatives- Ensure your older cat remains parasite- and flea-free by making sure they keep up with their monthly preventative flea/tick and heartworm treatments.
Grooming- Older cats might not be able to properly groom themselves without causing hair ingestion, so be sure to brush and groom your cat so that they don't have to.
Privacy- Cats in general like privacy, but older cats
love privacy. Provide them with a safe, quiet, warm place where they can curl up and nap without interruption, and they will be happy as a clam.
Indoors- We never condone letting your pets roam freely outside without proper supervision and harnessing, but it is especially important to keep older cats over 12 years inside because they no longer have that pep in their step, and might not be able to protect themselves from unforeseen threats or danger.
Lots of love!- Again, the main key to a happy and healthy senior cat is lots of love! Be sure to give them loots of pets and cuddles as well!