Is your dog or cat 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 alway were, and they of course will always be puppies or kittens at heart. However, their needs change over time. Once your furry buddy reaches that geriatric stage, they become what some of us like to call super seniors. A local veterinarian offers some advice on caring for your cute retiree in this article.
Our four-legged friends sometimes experience a decline in their vision and hearing. Pets can still live full, happy lives if they lose some sensory input, but you may need to make some small adjustments, such as doing some extra pet-proofing. Ask your vet for more information.
Incontinence is not uncommon with elderly pets. This is definitely something to contact your vet about! In some cases, it may be a treatable issue. With others, it could be indicative of a larger problem. Pee pads and mattress covers can help prevent messes. You may also need to clean your pet, to prevent scalding. Just don’t punish your pet: they may be embarrassed and confused, and can get quite distressed.
Good grooming will go a long way towards keeping your furry bff comfortable. Brush Fido and Fluffy regularly, and bathe them as needed. Dogs may also need more frequent nail trims.
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. Talk to your vet about your fuzzy pal’s diet. You may need to reduce their portions, or switch to a lower-calorie brand, to prevent obesity. Supplements may also be beneficial.
Just like people, pets slow down as they age. Fido may be tired out 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 strike a balance. Ask your vet for tips on this.
Sadly, it’s likely that your time with your beloved pet is winding down. Make the most of these precious days. Pay lots of attention to Fido and Fluffy, and provide them with small comforts, like soft beds, pet ramps, and nightlights. After years of love and loyalty, your furry best friend deserves to feel loved, safe, and comfortable until the very end of their days.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today!