As pets age, they may require more TLC to stay happy and healthy. According to vets, dogs are generally considered senior if they’re more than six years old, and over eleven-year-old cats are often seen as seniors. That’s why it’s important to start giving your senior pet the extra care they need as soon as possible.
Here are some tips for effective senior pet care:
1. Comfortable Bed for Sleeping
Older pets may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, so it’s important to provide them with a comfortable place to sleep. You can purchase a pet bed designed for older animals or make one yourself out of a soft blanket or towel.
2. Easier-to-Chew Diet
As pets age, their teeth may start to wear down, and they may have trouble chewing their food. You can buy pet food that is easier to chew or break the food into smaller pieces.
For instance, a senior dog can still enjoy a good game of fetch, but you may want to provide them with smaller treats that are easier to chew. Also, watch out for your pet’s weight since obesity can be a major health issue for older pets.
3. Extra Water
Older pets may not drink as much water as they used to, so it’s essential to watch their intake. You can place a water bowl near their bed or food dish or buy a pet fountain that encourages them to drink more.
4. Regular Vet Visits
Some pet owners tend to forget that their senior pet still needs regular vet visits. Older pets can develop health problems just like people do, so it’s important to catch any early issues.
Take them to your trusted vets, such as KMVet.com, to track your pet’s health and ensure they get the care they need. The vet may recommend specific treatments or medications to help keep your pet healthy and comfortable during their visit. For instance, your aging cat may need to start taking thyroid medication.
5. Physical Activity
Just because your pet gets older doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy physical activity. In fact, staying active can help keep them healthy and happy.
You can take your senior dog for walks, play fetch or tug-of-war, or even take them for a swim. Monitor their energy level and adjust the activities as needed.
For cats, provide them with a scratching post and plenty of toys to keep them amused. You can also set up a small climbing area, such as a cat tree, to give them a place to explore.
6. Vaccination and Parasite Protection
Older pets are more susceptible to diseases and parasites, so keeping them up-to-date on their vaccinations and deworming is essential. Speak with your vet on the best way to protect your pet against common threats.
7. Oral Protection
Pets’ teeth can also start to wear down as they get older, leading to dental problems. You can help protect your pet’s teeth by brushing them regularly with pet-safe toothpaste and giving them chew toys that help scrape plaque off their teeth.
You can also purchase a pet water additive for felines that helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
Keep in Mind
As your pet enters their golden years, you must keep these tips in mind and ensure they’re getting the care they need. Your senior pet will be happy and healthy for many years to come with extra love and attention.
Also, choose a vet that specializes in senior pet care (like this vet San Diego) and can provide you with the best advice for keeping them healthy and comfortable.