Senior Pet Wellness
Our pets do not age the same way we do. By age 7, you can consider your pets to be senior. However, not all pets age the same. Larger breeds of dogs mature faster than smaller dogs, and they also have a shorter life expectancy.
As our pets age, they face many of the same health risks as humans do. This includes cancer, diabetes, senility, and weakness. Organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys can also become diseased. Preventing and caring for these issues may look different from the care you gave previously in their life.
For starters, your veterinarian may recommend more frequent checkups, and those exams may involve blood work and be more in-depth. Some pets require a change in diet. Many brands sell formulas for aging pets that protect their bones, are easily digested, and keep them energized. You may also consider a switch to wet food to keep your pet hydrated or if they experience dental issues. Because pets become less active as they age, consider adjusting how much you feed your pets along with formulas that combat fat.
Older pets often become ill more easily and have a more difficult time fighting off those illnesses. Keep an eye for signs of parasites. Some pets may require different vaccinations as they age as well.
If your pet becomes less mobile, you may need to alter the environment with stairs or ramps that allow access to furniture and vehicles. You may change where you feed your pets or where they eat, so they can avoid climbing stairs or jumping.
Many of these issues can be mitigated by proper health throughout your pet's life. Regular checkups can highlight health problems as soon as they arise. Furthermore, it's easy to keep your pets lean and healthy than to try to lose that weight when your pet is older. Plus, weight can impact your pet's bones and joints, which makes exercising even more difficult. Stimulating your pets can promote mental health as well.
Pay attention to changes in behavior that can indicate your pet is experiencing age-related issues. For example, going inside may indicate problems with the urinary tract or an inability to hold it. If your pet no longer responds, it could be a sign of hearing loss or senility. Changes in eating may indicate an age-related or other health concern as well. If your pet is irritable, it could be experiencing pain.
Even if your pet is changing with age, proactive senior pet care and routine can mitigate those changes to ensure you and your pet can enjoy their senior years.
Get More Information
If you're in Edmond or Guthrie, call Waterloo Animal Hospital at (405) 341-4747 for senior pet services.