Five More Tips to Help You Give Your Senior Pets More Quality of Life
Peter H. Eeg DVM
Poolesville Veterinary Clinic
As our friends age, there are often issues that begin to be more common and create some troubling issues for the Pet Parent. Here in part two of our Senior pet tips article are five more tips to help you and hour furry older friend.
- See your Veterinarian Twice a Year: Aging dogs and cats typically need to be evaluated on a bi-annual basis to keep track of changing metabolic and physical issues and adjust treatment.
- Watch for Signs of Pain: Arthritis and degenerative joint disease become more common with age. Over 80% of dogs and 50% of cats have some arthritic changes by 8 years old. So watch for signs of pain such as trembling, not putting weight on a leg, crouching, changes to appetite, restlessness, or changing resting locations.
- Get your Furry pal a Comfy Spot to Sleep: Orthopedic pet beds provide better weight displacement over a larger area. It is also important for them to be in a warmer location in the house during the winter months. Do not use human heating pads, as they can be put on settings that can cause burns to your pets’ skin.
- Care for Your Pets’ Teeth: It is very hard to brush your pets’ teeth on a regular basis. If possible you should do so, but we have to be real about this. Oral disease is much more common as pets get older. Tarter can loosen teeth and older teeth have softer enamel that can more easily be cracked or break. Check to see if your furry pal is only chewing on one side of their mouth or acting resistant to chew.
- Adjust your pets’ diet and consider Supportive Supplements: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal food for your pets’ stage of life. There are wonderful targeted foods to help reduce stress on organs, joints and improve cognitive abilities. Supplements recommended by your veterinarian can also provide added support against discomfort, stress and other issues. Be sure to discuss any new therapies you are considering from Dr. Google before you begin. There can be interactions with medications prescribed for your pet.
Taking a few extra minutes each day to observe your four legged buddy can give insight into changes in their activity, behavior and comfort level. In older pets, the sooner you take proactive steps the longer you can keep your friends’ Quality of life where you and they want to be.