The Importance of Pet Grooming
Taking care of a puppy or kitten is hard work. However, taking care of a senior pet is even more challenging. As pets age, looking after them becomes significantly more difficult. Owners of aging pets often struggle with their animal companions’ incontinence and dementia. They also find it difficult to navigate through the maze of end-of-life pet care decisions.
However, it is important to understand that old age is not a disease. Rather, it is a life stage for pets and their owners to navigate. Your aging pet may need new medications or help to get onto the couch. They may also develop arthritis or need to see a veterinarian more often for pain management. After living with your pet for many years, changing your approach can be difficult.
Signs of Aging Pets
Many pet owners tend to forget that their animal companions are aging about seven times faster than them. As pets age, they are more susceptible to various age-related diseases. Many signs of aging are subtle. Thus, you need to watch out for the following signs:
Changes in appetite
Changes in behavior
Bumps or lumps on the skin
Sleeping more than usual
The key to a healthy and long life for pets is the early detection and treatment of health issues. Remember that senior pets can suffer from poor kidney function, cancer, liver failure, diabetes, obesity, or heart disease. Hence, you need to take your senior pet for a health exam at least twice a year.
Top Care Tips for Senior Pets
If you want to take better care of your aging pet, start by making subtle changes to their veterinary care, routine, and living environment. This will help them live a more comfortable and healthier life. Other tips include:
Keep Your Senior Pet Active
As pets age, they should get plenty of exercises. The main driver of metabolism in most pets is muscle mass. Pets that lose muscle mass as they age start to develop frailty syndrome, which can hasten the aging process.
People with aging pets should watch for subtle signs of discomfort or pain and take their pets to a veterinarian for the ideal treatment plan. Slowing down is not always normal for old age. It may be a sign of untreated pain. Keeping senior pets active can help prevent weight gain and minimize the effects of arthritis.
Get Your Pet’s Blood Work Checked
As your pet gets older, you should take them to a veterinarian regularly for a checkup. In addition to an annual and biannual examination, owners of senior pets should get annual blood work done for their pets. The purpose of the blood work is to check the pet’s red and white blood cells, as well as the liver and kidney function, to ensure the pet is healthy.
Make Subtle Changes to the Pet’s Environment
If you have an aging pet, make small changes to your home and their living environment. For example, add more carpeting around your home to prevent your senior pet from slipping on tile or hardwood floors. You can also use ramps throughout your home to help your pet get around. You may also need to reevaluate the pet food and water setup to provide ease of use.
For more tips for caring for senior pets, visit Bridge Park Animal Hospital at our office in Johns Creek, Georgia. You can call (470) 768-8755 today to schedule an appointment.