Senior Pet Care

Whether you have watched your pet age or you have adopted an older pet, senior pet care is very different than caring for a younger animal. As your pet ages, you will notice tell-tale signs that they are entering their senior years, with greying facial hair and decreased mobility. Providing your pet with proper nutrition and superior care can increase their lifespan and ensure further comfort during their last remaining years.

Common ailments affecting senior pets

Similar to humans, senior animals are prone to specific injury and disease. Some of the more common illnesses include: 

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer (numerous types)
  • Heart disease
  • Increased irritability
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Liver disease
  • Senility
  • Sore joints which make it difficult to get up, stand, or walk
  • Weakness

Recommended care for senior pets

It is highly recommended that older pets receive semi-annual veterinary check-up exams rather than one annual exam. Because pets are at an increased risk for disease and cancer, semi-annual exams can help detect problems closest to when they started so treatment can be promptly implemented. This also allows the vet to potentially detect and treat issues before they become major health concerns.

Maintaining physical and mental exercise with your pet is an important factor in promoting wellness. Adjusting the frequency and duration of exercise may be necessary to accommodate ailing joints, but some amount of daily exercise is highly recommended. You also want to continue stimulating your pet’s mind with toys or games that require cognitive stimulation.

For pets with joint issues or mobility problems, supplements such as glucosamine can be introduced into the diet to promote flexibility and increased range-of-motion. Ask the veterinarian about which supplements would be beneficial to your pet. You may also want to consider purchasing an orthopedic bed for your pet. These comfortable surfaces conform to a pet’s body, providing superior support and creating a restful surface for them to lie on.