Is your pet entering—or already into—their golden years? Pets age the way many people do … slowly for a while, and then suddenly all at once. Fido and Fluffy will never stop being the same cute, lovable companions as they always were, and they will always be puppies or kittens at heart. However, their needs change over time. Once your pet reaches that geriatric stage, they become what some of us like to call super seniors. A local vet offers some advice on caring for your adorable retiree in this article.
Older pets often have quite sensitive stomachs. They’ll have a harder time with rich, fatty foods, and may also get upset tummies from having their diets changed too rapidly. Some dogs and cats will benefit from supplements and/or special food. You may also need to trim portions or change brands, to help prevent obesity. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Just like people, geriatric pets tend to slow down as they age. Fido may be tired after going around the yard, while Fluffy will probably tap out after a few half-hearted pounces. You don’t want to let your pet become a couch potato: you just need to find the right balance. Ask your vet for tips on this.
Good grooming will go a long way towards keeping your furry bff comfortable. This will vary from pet to pet, but in general, you’ll want to brush Fido and Fluffy regularly, and bathe them as needed. Dogs may need more frequent nail trims.
Incontinence is not uncommon with older pets. This is definitely something to contact your vet about! In some cases, it can be treated. With others, it could be indicative of a larger problem. Pee pads and mattress cover can help prevent messes. You may also need to clean your pet, to prevent scalding.
Fido and Fluffy sometimes experience a decline in their vision and hearing. Pets can still live full, happy, lives if they lose some sensory input. You may need to make some small adjustments, such as doing some extra pet-proofing. Ask your vet for more information.
Make the most of the precious time you have left with your beloved pet. Pay lots of attention to Fido and Fluffy, and provide the comforts they need, like soft beds, pet ramps, and nightlights. After years of love and loyalty, your furry friend deserves to feel safe and comfortable in this special time.
Do you have questions about your super senior? Contact us, your local animal clinic in Pelham, ON today!