As pet care providers, Hillrose has the opportunity to care for so many pets ranging in age from puppies and kittens to senior pets. We are often asked how to care for pets as they age. Many wonder if care should “look” different for senior pets and our answer to them is always the same. Here’s how we advise our clients to care for their senior pets.
TIPS FOR SENIOR PET CARE
When your pet reaches their senior years, their care really doesn’t change much at all except for the fact that it may require more diligence on your part. Here’s a list of tips and reminders for caring for our senior pets.
- Maintain a healthy weight- As your pet ages, closely monitor their weight. Just like humans, pets can tend to gain weight as they age and this weight gain puts them at higher risk for arthritis, diabetes, certain types of cancer and other health issues. Know what a healthy weight is for your pet based on their size and breed and work to maintain that. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the two keys to a healthy weight for your senior pet.
- Regular Vet check-ups: Once a pet reaches his senior years, vet check-ups are extremely important. While we should never neglect vet check-ups anyway, it’s crucial that our senior pets see their vet regularly. Some vets may even recommend that older pets be seen every six months instead of just once per year.
- Don’t forget their teeth: It may seem strange to say, but brushing our pet’s teeth is actually very important throughout their lives but especially during their senior years. Tartar can build up on their teeth leading to gingivitis which can lead to a bacterial infection causing damage to their vital organs. Take time each night to brush your pets teeth or give them a dental chew designed to clean their teeth. This is the one area that truly does require more diligence as our pets age.
In addition to these general guidelines we would add the following:
- Monitor your senior pet regularly to check for any changes in weight or behavior; if you notice any odd changes, contact your vet immediately.
- Get them regular groomings to keep them clean and their coat healthy. Here at Hillrose, we offer grooming and love grooming older pets.
- Don’t under-estimate the importance of your care and companionship; that provides a great comfort to them and likely, health benefits as well.
True, this list may look very similar to that of caring for younger pets, but we want to emphasize the importance of being diligent when it comes to your older pets. Your diligence will insure that their senior years are as happy and full as their younger years.