Providing the Best Care for Older Pets as they Age
As pets get older, their needs change. Taking care of a senior pet in a new way can easily slip the mind as the years go by, especially if you’ve raised your beloved pet since they were only a few weeks old. While we wish our pets could live longer, it’s important to honor every day we get to spend with them. That’s why the team here at Bayside Animal Hospital is here to do everything we can to ensure that your pet lives the longest and healthiest life possible.
With the help of these older pet care tips, we’ll help you ensure that your four-legged friend is always feeling their best during their golden years.
Improve Your Older Pet’s Accessibility
Making mobility safe is important when you have older pets in the house. Placing non-slip runners on hardwood or linoleum floors can prevent slips, which can cause potential pet injuries. Pet stairs are an excellent addition for the bed and couch, as well as ramps for steep staircases. Using pet or baby gates to block pets from off-limits areas can also help keep your pet safe as they age.
Although their bones may not be as strong as they used to be, aging pets are often filled with plenty of energy. They want to jump, run and play, but they are at a greater risk of getting injured now that they’re getting on in years. Luckily, these small changes are affordable and easy to add to your home. Let senior pets run, play, and have fun, but be sure to keep an extra careful eye on them.
Provide Senior Pets with Plenty of Exercise
Older pet care requires special attention to activity levels. Maintaining a healthy weight is important in preventing heart disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer. By making time each day to give your senior pet some exercise, you’ll be putting their health first.
Walking your pet is one of the simplest forms of pet exercise, but can wear on pet joints, especially as pets age. Playtime is always great if you have a large enough yard (or a house for cats) and allows your pets to choose how much activity they’re up for. Pets with arthritis may benefit from swimming, which can relieve pressure on the joints and provide them with much-needed relief.
Change Your Pet’s Diet
Senior pets have different dietary requirements than adult cats and dogs. Weight gain is common among older pets as their metabolism slows down. Senior cats, for example, are prone to suffer from constipation, so it’s important to provide food with the best balance of nutrients. Do some research and meet with your pet’s veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s diet meets their needs as they enter their senior years.
Here at Bayside, we’re always happy to provide you with resources that will help you give your pet the best quality of care, no matter what their age.
Learn About Symptoms
Senior pet health requires education and preventative services and resources. Annual or bi-annual exams, X-rays, blood work, urinalysis, and other procedures help veterinarians make swift diagnoses, but the best form of treatment is always prevention.
To learn more about senior pet symptoms and diseases, research common health problems in senior cats and dogs, including arthritis, kidney, heart and liver disease, diabetes and cancer. Be sure to meet with us if you notice any of these signs in your pet.
Some warning signs of health problems in aging pets include:
- Sleeping more than usual
- Not eating
- Wandering aimlessly around the house, seemed dazed or confused
- Barking or meowing more
- Not responding to name or commands
- Being anxious, aggressive and/or more irritable than usual
Senior Pet Care at Bayside
We treat pets of all ages and sizes. Our wide range of specialized veterinary services ensure that you and your pet always have access to quality care when you need it most. Contact us today to schedule your pet’s next wellness visit!
We Our Clients
Everyone always acts like my yellow lab, Ben, arriving has made their day. Seeing Ben, even though he's an old boy at 12 years old, can't wait to go in when we get there makes it evident he has no fear of visiting and knows he's going to have a positive experinece. I can't recommend them highly enough. — Richard Grimes
Awesome doctor and staff! Very pleasant, caring and knowledgeable, which made me feel very comfortable. — Kathy Pelkey
Joy Israel is simply the best. She truly does have our Ivy's best interests in mind. we really love her — Samra & Troy Hamilton
The Dr's and staff are amazing. Everyone goes out of their way to make your pet and self comfortable. Amazing service. I have been using Dr. Sheppard for over 10 years I won't go anywhere else. — Kathy Porterfield