As much as we don’t want to acknowledge it or admit it, everything gets old – even our pets. It may be hard to watch your best friend get old and for some of us, we may even be in a bit of denial. But one day you notice they don’t come as quickly as you call or that they have become a little grey around the nose. Our pets get so much attention as they are cute puppies or kittens, but they also deserve that same energy and attention in their old age. Here are some things to look for and do, so your pet can have the best quality of life – even in their golden years.
Watch For Changes in Behavior
Even though your pet may not be able to speak to explicitly tell you how old they are getting or how they are feeling, they can show it. Oftentimes, their behavior can give big indicators for their health. While it is common that older animals are naturally less active, noticing unusual behaviors can help you to identify problems early on. Look for signs like:
- Decrease in appetite
- Changes in when they urinate or have a bowel movement
- Increased water drinking
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Vet
Just as when a person gets older, regular doctor visits are important for your pet. You can catch any age-related problems early and take preventative measures. This can also increase their odds of catching any issues like cancer when it is too late for treatment. Call or contact us today to have your pet examined for any signs of early health conditions.
Keep Them Active
Just like humans, animals need regular exercise as a part of their daily routine. Although the activity may look a little different than it did when they were small, movement is important. This, along with a healthy diet specifically for senior animals, can keep their weight down, joints healthy, and brain stimulated.
Look Out For Any Signs of Arthritis
If your pet seems to be having trouble and physical discomfort doing simple tasks like walking or standing up, it may be time for them to be checked for arthritis. Call Animal Care Center today, we can identify if your pet is having any discomfort from arthritis. Signs of arthritis might include:
- Decreased activity
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Seemingly stiff joints
- Problems standing, sitting, or laying down
Note: It is important to NEVER give your pet over-the-counter human pain medication unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet.
Make Accommodations to Your Home
Is your home senior pet-friendly? There are steps you can take to make sure it is easily accessible to your aging pet. A few changes include:
- An orthopedic pet bed
- Keep them warm
- Water is easily accessible
Be Patient and Give Them a Good Quality of Life
Just like you need to be patient with elderly people, pets deserve the same consideration. As they venture into their golden years, pets may lose some aspects of their life that made it easier for them to function. Give them a little extra time getting up, going to the bathroom, on walks, and eating. Help your pets to stay clean and keep an eye out for any cognitive disfunction. This is also common with age. Ways to care for a pet experiencing cognitive disfunction can be to keep a strict schedule of activities. Although your pet may not be able to do all the things they once could, you can still enjoy their senior years. Whether it’s extra cuddle time, extra treats, or more quality time together, you can increase the quality of life for your senior pet.
At Animal Care Center, we are focused on providing your pet with the best possible health and quality of life. We want to make sure that the transition to their senior years is smooth and enjoyable. Give us a call if you have any questions or need to get your et checked out. We are experienced in dealing with older pets and are sure to give your pet the same tender, loving care.