Lifestyle Changes to Make for Senior Pets
At Fur Heart Pet Sitting and Dog Walking, we care for pets of all ages. We know that pets at different stages in their life need different types of care, diet, and environment in order to keep them healthy and comfortable. It’s always our goal to make sure the pets in our care are #livingtheirbestlife (just take a look at our happy customers), and we’ve learned a thing or two about caring for some of the most senior pets. Here we share some things we think are good to change in the day to day care of your pet as they reach their golden years:
- Make your home easier to navigate. A few small changes can make getting from point A to point B in your house and apartment a lot easier for your silver dogs and cats. Ramps are a great way to take the strain off of joints caused by stepping or jumping. Consider a small ramp by your pet’s favorite piece of furniture, or at other small sets of steps such as porches and stoops.
2. Frequency of Health Check-Ups: While regular visits to the veterinarian are always a great idea, it’s important to pay closer attention to scheduling regular visits. In addition, many pet owners can mistake easily fixable or urgent health issues for what they believe to be signs of aging. Don’t dismiss any health issues as “just old age”—it can hasten the arrival of a serious health issue and shorten your pet’s healthy years.
3. Changes to their diet: As dogs age, their diets should change to address their health needs. The food of older pets should include natural supplements for joint, brain, and dental health. These are typical problem areas aging for dogs and cats, and diets can go a long way toward keeping them in good shape. Especially in regard to dental health, pet parents should consider food options that not only support oral health, but are also soft on aging gums and teeth, rather than coarse kibble.
4. Get Your Pet A Ridiculously Comfy Bed: Treat yourself, treat your pets. Just like you appreciate a comfortable bed after a long day’s work, your pets will too. An aging pet will also appreciate it after a walk, during their mid-morning nap, and when you’re curled up watching TV. This is a great way to help soothe aching muscles, and generally be a nice thing for your pet as they increase the amount of time they spend resting.
5. Find Some Pet Friends: This one works best for dog owners. Studies have shown that having other dogs, especially younger dogs, as companions in their old age can be great for their health. The idea is that a younger companion can help keep an older dog participating in a healthy level of play—which is beneficial for maintaining activity levels and improving mental sharpness.
A few simple changes such as these can go a long way toward making sure that your aging pet is as healthy and happy as can be. But as always, these are only tips. Regular vet check-ups and consultation on specific health issues are essential for your pet’s long term health.
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