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Keeping Your Older Pet Happy and Healthy for as Long as Possibl

  • how to care for your aging dog

     

    When you have a senior pet, it is best to talk to your veterinarian about how to care for your pet and how to prepare for the possible age-related health problems that are going to come about. Senior pets require a lot of attention, including more visits to the vet, possible diet changes, and changes to the home environment when necessary. The following are some basic considerations when caring for your senior pet:

     

     

     

     

    Increased Vet Care

     

    Geriatric pets should go to a veterinary visit twice per year instead of once per year so that signs of illness can be identified and treated. Older pet exams are similar to those given to younger pets, but they are more in-depth and may include blood work, dental care, and checks for specific diseases that are typical in older pets.

     

    Diet and Nutrition

     

    Geriatric pets tend to need foods that are easier for them to digest. The calorie levels and ingredients are also different than what is required in younger pets. As far as nutrients, anti-aging nutrients are infused in some senior pet foods.

     

    Weight Control

     

    Weight gain in senior dogs can increase health risks, but weight loss is a much bigger concern in aging cats.

     

    Maintaining Mobility

     

    As with people who are aging, keeping older pets mobile through exercise helps them remain mobile and healthier.

     

    Parasite Control

     

    Older pets have immune systems that are not as healthy as younger pets, which means they cannot fight off disease as well or heal as fast as younger pets.

     

    Vaccinations

     

    Vaccination needs may change with age. Talk to your veterinarian about the vaccination program that your aging pet needs in order to stay clear of certain diseases.

     

    Environmental Changes

     

    Older pets may need to have their lifestyle changed, such as a change in their sleeping area to avoid stairs. Perhaps they need more time indoors or they need a quiet area away from children that may cause them to become nervous. If your pet is disabled, you will need to discuss those special needs with your veterinarian.

     

    Mental Health

     

    Pets can become senile with age. Stimulating them through interaction can keep them active mentally. If you notice changes in your pet’s behavior, it is best to contact your veterinarian.

     

    Reproductive Diseases

     

    If your older pet is not neutered or spayed, they are at a higher risk of reproductive cancers and other diseases. This is another reason why it is important to take them for regular veterinary visits. These diseases can be caught on time and there are options for pet owners with a geriatric pet facing these diseases.

     

    If you ever have any questions about your pet’s health, it is best to contact a veterinarian so they can assess the specifics of your pet’s case. This will allow for the proper treatments so your pet can remain as healthy for as long as possible.


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