Keeping your senior pet in good health
Ageing signs may be subtle in our pets over time, with some grey hairs appearing through the years or their pace steadily slowing down. Your pets needs as they age will change and therefore you may want to consider some of our tips below to keep them in the best possible health.
- Watch for any changes in behaviour
Unfortunately our pets can’t tell us when there is something wrong so it is important to watch for any changes in behaviour or unusual behaviour. This may include increased agitation, decreased appetite, increased water intake or changes in urination or defecation.
- Consider changing their diet to a senior pet food
When our pets get older, they are likely to become less active and therefore require fewer calories. Senior diets provide this requirement and in turn prevents weight gain. Obesity can contributing factor to additional health issues.
- Keep your pet active
Our pets should still receive regular exercise, however this needs to be tailor made to each individual pet on their requirements and needs. They are likely to require shorter walks than they were used to in their younger days. Exercise is not only an aid in preventing obesity in our pets but also great for their mental wellbeing too.
- Watch out for signs of arthritis
In humans, arthritis is common in our later years, it is also common in our pets too. Signs that may indicated that your pet is suffering from arthritis may include decreased activity, stiffness, slow to sit or stand or problems climbing up stairs.
- Keeping them comfortable
You may need to make changes for your pet around the home, this may include giving them a thicker, padded bed, adding additional bowls of water around the home for easily access or getting them a coat for those colder days to go walking.
- Be Patient
As mentioned we may see a decrease in our pet’s activity levels as they age but also they may suffer from loss of sight or hearing in their later years. It is important to be patient and give your pet that extra time they need when getting about or out on a walk.
- Keep them clean
With arthritis affecting some pet’s mobility, we are owners may need to assist them to keep them looking their best. Consider getting them a pet brush to keep their coat neat and tidy, it is also a great opportunity for the extra bonding time with your pet.
- Watch out for signs of cognitive dysfunction
In some pets, they may become confused and anxious in their later years. This can indicate cognitive dysfunction which can also include signs of incontinence, fear of sounds, decreased activity or wandering around the home with no purpose.
- Give them time in different ways
Although you may not be able to enjoy long walks together anymore, give them that extra time at home for play time in the garden and cuddles in the evenings with even a tasty treat for them included.
Milton Keynes Veterinary Group offer free of charge urine testing at time of your pet’s annual check for all animals over 7 years of age.
A clinical exam of your pet can pick up early cases of Osteoarthritis or Dementia, our veterinary surgeon may also advise a blood test if indicated at this clinical exam.
We also offer Senior cat clinics at our Stoke Road branch with one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses to check your cat’s blood pressure to monitor for any signs of Hypertension, click here to find out more here about High Blood Pressure in cats
If you have any concerns regarding your pet or they are showing changes in behaviour that you are worried about, please contact our team on 01908 397777 to arrange an appointment for your pet.
Tags: care, changes, health, senior pet, tips