Essential Care Tips for Thriving Senior Pets
by Aurora James from Dog Etiquette
Seeing your dog reach seniorhood can feel challenging, especially as they start slowing down and losing enthusiasm. At the same time, you get to spend more time with your furry friend - which is truly a blessing. However, while your love for your pet never fades, the kind of care you’ll need to provide definitely will. If you’ve been looking for advice on caring for a senior pet, keep reading as 100% Angel breaks it down below.
Set up Regular Pet Visits
As your pet ages, be sure to increase the frequency of their checkups and wellness exams too. If you used to take your pet to the vet once a year, it might be prudent to set up quarterly checkups or more, depending on your pet’s condition. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, doing so will ensure that any clinically silent health abnormalities are caught sooner rather than later. If you’re worried about the cost of keeping your pet healthy, consider getting pet insurance, as this can help you save on your pet bills. When choosing pet insurance, consider coverage level, deductibles, premium, and the maximum age of the covered pet. Then, evaluate sample quotes and customer reviews to find pet insurance that works for you.
Diet Will Be Critical
All About Dog Food reports that a pet’s nutritional needs change the older they get. You will have to adapt their diet to ensure it is age-appropriate and fulfilling their dietary needs and requirements. You might be doing this already, as most pet food brands have products that cater to all stages of a pet’s life. Following the age-recommended products will be critical in ensuring your pet gets the proper nutrients that their body can process. You should also speak to your vet about any dietary restrictions or concerns that may arise due to a specific condition your pet may have.
Gentle Exercise Always Helps
If you find your pet’s activity levels decline as they age, don’t worry too much. After all, it’s unlikely they will forever have that puppy or kitten energy! While your senior pet’s appetite for exercise may have declined, it is still critical that they get some movement every day. For example, older cats and dogs can suffer from stiff joints and arthritis. Such conditions are significantly aided with regular and gentle exercise. A slow walk, light play, and other forms of gentle movement can help improve your pet’s condition and quality of life. However, remember to respect your pet’s pace and comfort levels, as pushing them too much can lead to overexertion and soreness.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Just as humans need mental stimulation for better functioning, so do pets. Keeping your pet's mind sharp and engaged is essential for their overall health, particularly as they age. This is because their cognitive function can decline, so if they are not challenged, they may appear confused, sad, or disinterested. You can provide mental stimulation through games that help them use their mind, such as food puzzle games or hide and seek using treats. This is also a great way to spend time with your pet and bond with them, as games are an excellent activity to do together!
Just because your pet reaches a certain age doesn’t mean their health will deteriorate overnight. Aging is a slow and gradual process; the biggest thing that changes is the kind of care you will have to provide to your pet. By taking care of your senior pet from the onset, you can help manage this process and ensure that your furry friend continues to live the best life possible, irrespective of age.
Looking for quality pet products? If so, be sure to check out the 100% Angel site for all your pet accessory needs! Click here to shop our site today.
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