Educational Blog

Keeping Your Senior Pet in Optimal Health and Wellbeing

Even though your pet remains forever young in your heart, the reality is that aging brings natural changes to health, energy, and behavior. Since our pets cannot communicate these changes, there is a need for senior pet wellness care that goes beyond what was required in his younger years.

Many pets are now living much longer lives and therefore will require a little extra TLC as they age, including veterinary care. It’s through such attention, you will help your pet live a much more fulfilling life at any age.

By providing the best possible care, you never know – your senior pet may even keep his youthful enthusiasm and energy throughout those golden years.

Tips to Keep Your Senior Pet Healthy

It’s great to know that there are a lot of ways you can help your older pet stay active and healthy. Preventive veterinary care and high quality personal attention each day can make a huge impact on longevity and disease prevention.

Here are six accessible and important ways you can give your senior pet a leg up on wellbeing.

  1. Twice yearly wellness examinations – Your senior pet will go through numerous health changes as he ages, which might include changes to the thyroid, vision and hearing, and mobility. In order to prevent the onset of certain diseases or better manage current conditions, it is important for your pet to go through routine screenings and lab work every six months.
  2. Nutritious, balanced diet – Seniors often struggle with weight management or malnutrition challenges, which can lead to diseases like diabetes. They require adjustments in diet based on existing health conditions or decreased caloric intake. If you aren’t sure what food to select for your pet, please contact us. We are glad to provide recommendations (and, nutritional counseling where needed).
  3. Daily exercise – While it is true your pet won’t have the same stamina and ability as when he was young, seniors, too, need exercise. Low impact exercises such as swimming, stretching, or walking are all great choices.
  4. Maintaining dental health – One of the most common problems among senior pets is dental disease. Periodontal disease can result in numerous secondary infections and illnesses, so keep those teeth and gums healthy through regular tooth brushing and cleanings.
  5. Social interaction – When an older pet becomes less active, we often assume he would rather sleep than interact or play. In fact, interaction and attention is every bit as necessary to a senior pet’s well being – and can help them stay alert and happy. Mental/behavioral/emotional enrichment is essential for every pet.
  6. Mobility support – If your older pet struggles with joint stiffness or arthritis, he may require some changes to the home. Instead of requiring him to climb stairs for example, provide all daily care needs on one floor of the home. If he has trouble with tile or other slippery surfaces, try carpeting or rugs to help prevent accidents.

Keeping your senior pet at his best is the goal. And, thankfully, this can be achieved through lifestyle modification, excellent nutrition, and consistent veterinary care.

To schedule a senior pet wellness exam for your best friend, please phone the team at Animal Medical & Surgical Center.