Top Tips on How to Care for a Senior Pet

A fluffy border collie sitting on a tree stump outside

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a pet that’s six or seven years old is classified as a senior pet. When you have aging pets, expect their needs to be more different than when they were younger. Physical, mental, and behavioral changes usually set in. At this point in your pet’s life, you should provide more specialized attention. If your pet is getting older, here’s what you should know about taking care of a senior pet.

Think About Health Issues

As your pet ages, problems in mobility, hearing, and vision start surfacing. Experts say that you should block off your staircases. This will prevent your senior pet from falling down the steps or getting too tired climbing up. Also, fight the urge to rearrange furniture regularly. Your senior pet needs reassurance that the living space is free of obstacles. Lining the floors with rubber mats or carpeting will help your pet get around safely and comfortably. Ramps allow your senior pet to get on and off your sofa or bed without the risk of injury.

More Vet Visits

Veterinarians recommend vet checkups every six months for senior pets. More frequent vet visits enable your vet to spot health problems and treat them earlier. If your pet receives early treatment, you ensure a healthier, happier life for your senior furry companion.

Prioritize Joint Pain

Arthritis affects many senior pets. Veterinarians usually prescribe pain relievers and joint supplements. You can provide more comfort by keeping their joints warm. Consider alternative solutions that you can explore, such as chiropractic massages, acupuncture, and spinal adjustments. Massage enhances blood circulation to your pet’s joints and muscles. Acupuncture targets and treats painful areas. Spinal adjustments counter stress in your pet’s spine. You can also regulate the temperature of your home for your senior pet. Some pets like cool environments, while others like to stay warm. If you have pets with joint issues, they benefit more from orthopedic beds or air mattresses.

Maintain Good Nutrition

Be sure to provide your senior pet a diet that is rich in essential nutrients. Chondroitin, glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids and ascorbic acid are good for skin, joint, and brain health. A balanced diet also helps prevent your senior pet from gaining excess weight. Obesity in senior pets often leads to chronic conditions such as diabetes. Experts say that whole food can help your pet maintain a healthy weight. Some examples of whole foods are:

  • Steamed dandelion, kale, spinach, or broccoli.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Fish.
  • Pumpkin.
  • Probiotics.

Provide Exercises for the Body and Mind

While regular exercises like short walks keep your senior pet active, mind exercises like puzzles keep your pet’s brain sharp. Fun and stimulating activities ensure that your older pet stays healthy and happy while keeping your bond stronger.

Your senior pet’s age is a testament to how much you care for your furry family member. At Sherlock Bones Animal Hospital, we encourage our pet parents to bring in their senior pets for more frequent checkups. You can visit our clinic in Carmel, Indiana, for an in-person consultation. Please call us at 317-428-2530, for appointment scheduling or inquiries regarding our vet care packages for senior pets.