How To Care For Your Senior Pet—7 Tips for Senior Pet Month
When we adopt our pets, they’re typically young, full of energy, and in need of a lot of love, care, and training. Then one day, it seems, we wake up and realize our pets really do age much faster than us, and our beloved pet has become a “senior.” We always want to keep our furry friends with us as long as possible—which is why their overall health and wellness is so important.
Adjust Your Senior Pet’s Diet
The first step to ensuring your senior pet’s health and wellness is to feed them a diet designed for “mature” or “senior” pets. As pets age, the necessary amounts of each nutrient changes, just as with us humans. An older pet who is no longer growing or as physically active as a younger pet will have different dietary needs. Be sure to discuss the best recommendations with your veterinarian or our staff the next time you visit us here at Bayside.
Provide Regular Vet Exams
Your furry friends should always have yearly annual veterinary exams when they’re younger, and we suggest adding an additional exam per year when your pet is a senior. Since pets age an average of 7 years to one of ours, a year can be a long time to go without seeing a doctor—too long. The idea is to be preventative with your pet’s health rather than responsive, especially since things can change very quickly as your pet ages. We suggest bringing in your fur baby for a head-to-tail exam twice a year just to be on the safe side.
Detect Pet Issues Early
Those veterinary wellness visits during the year can mean the difference between sickness and health for your pet. Veterinarians are trained to detect issues that you may not have noticed. Since pets are unable to tell us what’s wrong, lab work can be very helpful in getting a quick diagnosis if your veterinarian finds an issue. Pet lab work, blood tests, and other medical technology are key to a correct diagnosis the first time.
Have an Issue? Get to the Vet
When your pet isn’t eating, drinking, or going potty as usual, these are signs that something is up. Rather than waiting a day or more before getting your senior pet to the vet, it’s important to get them in for an exam as soon as possible. While it might have been routine to wait longer when your pets were younger, these issues can have a much more drastic impact on your senior pets and their overall health.
Help Your Pet Become Active
While it’s commonly believed that it’s natural and “normal” for senior pets to move more slowly as they age, the truth is that pet movement shouldn’t be drastically impacted by a pet’s age. There are many options nowadays to help your pet be more active—from treating pet arthritis to laser therapy, physical therapy, and more. Be sure to get your senior pet to the vet if they’re having issues getting up, laying down, or walking around. Getting old isn’t a disease or sickness, and with so many treatments available for your older furry friends, getting them help is both easy and affordable.
Check for Bumps
As with senior pet movement, it’s not normal for older pets to be in pain or have bumps. While senior pets do experience these symptoms more often than younger pets do—living in pain means there’s a bigger issue at hand. The same goes for bumps, bruises, and skin issues. If you notice any of these problems with your pet, be sure to get them to the veterinarian right away.
Get Pet Insurance
Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, we also recommend getting pet insurance for your senior pet in case they need any tests, surgeries, or medications, which can get costly. There are a variety of different pet insurance programs available and we’re more than happy to answer any questions you have. We’re here to help you choose the right pet insurance policy for you and your pet.
If you have any questions about pet insurance or your senior pet’s health, be sure to give us a call at Bayside Animal Hospital here in Kemah, Texas. We love senior pets, are AAHA accredited, and treat every single pet with the utmost care. We can’t wait to meet you and your furry friends during your next visit.
We Our Clients
Awesome doctor and staff! Very pleasant, caring and knowledgeable, which made me feel very comfortable. — Kathy Pelkey
Don't change anything. Fender loves you and that is all we need to know. — Donna & Bobby Lippner
Love y'all!!!! :) — Theresa Whitworth
I completely trust Dr. Shepherd and his staff! His office staff is competent and friendly! — Steve Alderman