Once our furry family members start to experience some trouble in their daily routine, such as running up the stairs, this is when we know that we need to provide some more support. With a few changes, we can help our senior pet through their later years, easier and more comfortably, to make sure they are getting the ultimate care.
Feeling warm and cosy
In their older age, pets have some trouble maintaining their body temperature. A trip to the shops may be needed to give them that extra bedding. It is best to consider purchasing something soft, cushioned and low. To provide some comfort, an old t-shirt or soft blanket you don’t use anymore, could work perfectly to provide a sense of reassurance. A jumper or coat is vital for your pet, especially on a walk, to protect them against the cold, winter conditions.
Exercise and mobility
With their stylish new coat, you will be able to take your senior pet on their walk, as it is still an integral part of their wellbeing. However, this is the time in their lives where you will need to decrease the intensity of their routine exercises. Rather than going to an off-leash park to let them run, we recommend finding soft ground to take your pet on a long walk. To keep their mind active, treats or puzzle toys are the best way to keep them engaged and confident. Through purchasing a collapsible or permanent ramp, you can assist your pet in getting upstairs, onto the couch or in and out of your car. For your older cat, ensure you have a litter tray on both levels of your house to help ease the pressure on their joints by having to repeatedly go up and down the stairs.
Loss of hearing and vision
Be careful not to frighten your pet if you have noticed that they have been losing their hearing. To reduce this risk, let people know about their loss of hearing, especially children, so that they know not to approach them from behind. If your senior pet has started to lose their vision, we recommend resisting the urge to change the set-up of your house. This is so that they can continue to move around with ease.
Coat and skin condition
Grooming your pet regularly helps to prevent any mats from developing. This is also the perfect time to check if there are any skin conditions developing such as lumps and sores. Weather can also affect their coat, as they can begin to shed more than usual.
Nutrition, teeth and gums
As your furry child grows older and their health conditions change, so should their diet. Senior pets should eat food that is low in calories and higher in fibre. The best way to determine the right food for your pet, would be to discuss your options with your vet or vet nurse. Regardless of age, oral health is important for all animals. However, older pets can develop diseases easier and quicker from bad oral health. Regular dental check-ups every six months and brushing your pet’s teeth are the best ways to combat any dental disease.
Make sure you regularly book your pet in for their senior health check, as it is one of the most important parts in keeping your furry child pain free, comfortable and at their best. This is the perfect time to discuss any concerns you have about your pet’s health with a qualified professional. Getting older doesn’t mean your senior pet has to stop enjoying their life!