During the month of September, we will be celebrating your Senior Pet! Did you know that dogs and cats are considered “senior” at around the age of seven? That’s right seven! As with most things when someone ages they need special care. During your pets, next Veterinary visit talk to your Veterinarian about how to care for your older pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets require increased attention, including more frequent visits to the Veterinarian, possible changes in diet, and in some cases alterations to their home environment. Today we will be sharing a few simple but important tips for Senior Pet Care. Throughout the month we will also be posting additional tips, so follow along with this month as we cherish every day with our Senior Fur friends.
As your pet approaches their Senior stage of life, it is important to keep his mind functioning and sharp. We know this to be true of our elderly humans, and it works exactly the same way with our canine friends. As long as we require our fur friends to think, he is less likely to become senile, mentally “soft,” or “lost.” Symptoms of senility are loss of housetraining, changes in sleep/wake cycles, loss of play, and lack of social interaction. If your pet suddenly begins to dismiss commands, don’t assume they are just being difficult. Dismissing commands can mean anything from discomfort in their bodies to become forgetful. If your pet appears to be losing his memory, your best tool is patience. You may need to coach him on some things like you did in his early years.
As your pet ages, you may need to make changes to the regular routine. Such as, climbing the stairs can become very difficult, so keep food and water as well as sleeping areas on one level if possible. If you live in a single-story home this is easy however if you live in a multiple level home keep sleeping and eating areas on one level.
My pets don’t spend a whole lot of time outdoors but if yours do you may want to limit their time outside and monitor their behavior for any signs of anxiety when outside and keep any threats away. If your pet suffers from a disability, such as blindness, hearing loss, or mobility issues, talk to your Vet about any special things you can do to make their living accommodations more comfortable for them.
Is he having trouble chewing that kibble? Many senior pets struggle with dental issues and may need to switch to different foods. Another common issue associated with aging is problems with digestion. Foods designed specifically for senior pets often include ingredients that are easier to digest and may even include supplements that help alleviate symptoms associated with aging.
*On a personal note our Chihuahua mix, Nick is now about 14. Dr. Sandhu made a few dietary changes and much to our surprise, Nick has a whole new lease on life! It just goes to show you that regular visits and conversations with your pet’s Veterinarian help you, help your pets continue to live their best life!
The Doctors and Staff at Porter Veterinary Center believe so strongly in the importance of preventative health care for your aging pet we are offering 10% OFF the cost of Senior Diagnostic Testing in the month of SEPTEMBER.
Contact our office for details and to schedule an aging pet evaluation for your furry friend today!
Let us help your pet enjoy their golden years!