As your pet grows older, you should find that their needs will change, too. Senior pets tend to be at a higher risk of their health deteriorating. However, there are a variety of ways that you as a pet owner can combat this and preserve your pet’s health and wellbeing for as long as possible, and give them the best quality of life in their senior years.
Since your pet’s physical health is likely to deteriorate as they grow older, it is no surprise that this may also impact their eyesight and hearing. Keeping your house clean and tidy can be a great first step to ensuring that your pet can still easily move around your house. In addition to this, try to avoid moving furniture around or changing the layout of your home – familiarity can provide your pet with a sense of comfort and in part helps them to navigate their home even with their worsening vision. Installing soft carpets instead of hardwood floorboards can help to prevent slips and falls, too, as your pet may not be as agile on their feet as they once were. Pet ramps can also make your home and vehicles more accessible for your pet, and sticking to a consistent routine can further help your pet feel more comfortable and familiar with your home.
Your pet will still love going on walks at your local park – not only does it provide them with exercise, but it allows them to spend more time with you. However, you should keep in mind that they are not quite as energetic and active as they used to be. Short, regular walks can help to keep your pet fit and healthy, although it is important not to push them too much. Allow your pet to set the pace you walk at and keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion, such as excessive panting or regularly stopping. It could be a good idea to bring along water for your dog if you plan to be a good distance from home, or if you expect to be out for a bit longer than usual to help avoid them becoming dehydrated.
Spending time with your pet can have great benefits for their emotional well-being. By keeping them company and entertained, you are preventing boredom and keeping them active and engaged. Introducing them to new tricks and toys can also be a great way to keep their brain stimulated and it allows for you to both enjoy the time you are spending together.
Warm, padded beds can provide your pet with support and comfort when they find they need to rest. Memory foam beds in particular are able to effectively support your pet’s sore joints and muscles and can help to ease health issues such as arthritis. By having a safe place to rest that is a bit more isolated from the rest of the house (especially the places where you might host guests) allows your pet to have a quiet area where they can be undisturbed. Having a source of water nearby can be a great idea, too, as it means your pet can easily stay hydrated throughout the day without having to move around too much.
Regular grooming can have a wide range of benefits for your pet. Not only does it help to keep them clean, tidy and comfortable, but it also provides you with an opportunity to check for any abnormalities or potential health issues and ensure they get treated as and when they arise. This, alongside regular trips to the vet, helps to ensure that your pet is in top condition and receiving the right care based on their advancing age.
Adapting your pet’s diet to suit their new nutritional requirements is one of the most important ways to ensure your pet is properly cared for. This is because your pet’s dietary needs will change as they get older. They will require fewer calories to sustain them, and a diet too high in calories could cause them to gain weight and increase their risk of health problems. Your vet will be able to provide you with advice on diet plans and any additional supplements they think would be beneficial for your pet.
For more advice on how to support your senior pet as they age, please speak to our experienced and knowledgeable veterinary team. Call R Veterinary Group in Linn Creek, Missouri at 573-245-1027 to schedule an appointment.