Do you have a pet who is 7 years or older? Did you know that dogs and cats are considered a senior pet from the age of 7? As our pets grow old it is important that we give them a little extra love and care, as their bodies and immune systems are not what they used to be. Simple day to day things like; a good diet, gentle and regular exercise, comfort and warmth during the cooler months and disease prevention will help your pet live a long and happy life.
Here are some things to think about with your senior pet to help keep them comfortable throughout their senior years:
- You may think now that your pet is older, and no longer as sociable, they no longer need to be vaccinated. However it is very important that you keep your pets vaccinations up to date their entire life.
- Vaccinations for dogs and cats can help protect your furry companion’s against many common disease that are highly contagious and in some cases deadly!
- Did you know even if your senior pet no longer leaves the yard, you can bring home these diseases home on yourself or your clothing eg, hands, soles of shoes?
- In the unfortunate event that your senior companion falls ill with any of these diseases, it is likely they will feel the effects and symptoms a lot harder than younger pet’s. Often our Senior friends immune systems are already compromised and they may have underling issues such as liver or kidney disease that can affect their treatment and recovery.
- Like humans, as our pet’s age their activity levels decrease and so does their metabolic rate. This often leads to muscle loss and an increase in body fat.
- You may start to notice changes in your senior pet such as loss of vision, taste sensation, dental health, and weight loss or weight gain. These changes can affect their nutrition intake, preferences and needs.
- It is important to feed a highly palatable, complete and balanced ‘Senior’ formulated diet that is high in protein. This will help to encourage your pet to eat as well as help their joints, keep their skin and coat shinny and aid in dental health.
- Be sure to check the diet you are feeding is low fat! After all our furry companions aren’t burning that fat by running around like they used to.
- If your pets weight increases or decreases suddenly, please consult with our lovely Vets to rule out any underlying issues that could be causing their weight change.
- Just as with humans, our furry companions can suffer from Arthritis.
- Arthritis can be caused by a past injury or from general deterioration of the joints as our pet’s age.
- As our pet’s get older and the winter months hit, you may notice your pet experience the following symptoms; Difficultly rising, yelping in pain, personality changes, licking at a sore leg and changes in apetite.These are all signs your pooch or kitty may be suffering from arthritis.
- The good news is there are plenty of treatments available to help improve the quality of life for your pet. Speak to our friendly Vets & Nurses about what treatments might work best for your companion. These can be as simple as change of diet, adding joint supplements or fish oil to their diet.
- Did you know physiotherapy can also help our pets struggling with arthritis? That’s right, just as with humans a few simple stretches, exercises and massage can help relieve some of the pains caused by arthritis.
- You might think that lack of energy levels or exercise intolerance in your older pet is a natural sign of aging. But did you know that it can also be a sign of heart problems?
- Other signs such as coughing and restlessness particularly at night can also indicate heart disease.
- But do not fear, once diagnosed most heart diseases can be controlled with regular medications, blood tests and visits to the vet.
- If your senior pooch or kitty is slowing down do not just assume that it is due to their age, take them to see our team of friendly Veterinarians and get them checked out.
- Overtime age causes many parts of the body to deteriorate and our pet’s body functions become slower and less reliable.
- Major organs such as the kidney and liver can deteriorate over time and the changes to your pet may be too subtle to notice.
- Early detection of an organ problem is important for us to be able to manage these changes best. This is why as your pets age, we may as to take routine blood tests to monitor conditions such as Kidney & Liver disease, diabetes and problems with thyroid glands to name a few.
- The good news is, many of these conditions can be managed with a combination of medication and special diets!
We really hope these tips and information help to keep your senior pet comfortable especially once the winter months hit! However, if you are worried your pet is suffering from any of these conditions or you would just like some more information, please don’t hesitate to call us and speak to our team of friendly Nurses for advice or to arrange a check-up with one of our lovely Veterinarians.