Pets: The Golden Years

As much as we hate to admit it, our pets get older… just like we do. However hard it is to see that grey start around the muzzle, it is important that you take proper steps to ensure that your cat or dog is living the healthiest lifestyle they can. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind as your pets enter their golden years.

Tip 1: Feed your pet a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Feeding your pet a nutritious diet is important no matter how old they are, but it especially becomes crucial as they get older. Good food will help with energy levels, joints and their digestion, all of which will give them a better quality of life. Talk to your vet about what diet is best for your elderly pet.

Tip 2: Keep your pet at a healthy weight.

Extra weight on a pet can be detrimental to their health. It creates strain on joints and internal organs. For dogs, be sure that your pup is getting plenty of exercise. Just because they are getting up there in years does not mean that their activity needs to stop. Where long runs might not be best for them any more, walks will help to keep their weight down. Again, a proper diet will help with this as well. For feline owners, diet is important for keeping excess weight off your cat. Also, try different toys to give them some exercise. They might not be as frisky as they once were, but usually with a little trial and error, you can find something to peak their interest.

Tip 3: Keep up on dental health.

This is one that many pet owners miss. Proper dental care in pets is essential at any stage of life, but is critical once they are in their geriatric years. Older pets are more prone to tartar build up and gum disease. This can allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream causing a multitude of issues for your pet. To help keep your pet’s teeth in tip-top shape, brush them at home regularly and schedule a dental with your vet at least once a year.

Tip 4: Take your pets to the vet for regular check ups.

Just like it is important for you to have your yearly physical, it is also important for your pets. For senior pets, some veterinarians even recommend 6 month check ups if your animal is having health problems. Be aware of any issues that your pet is having and anything they might be pre-disposed to (depending on if they are a dog or cat, what breed they are, etc). Yearly blood work is also important for elderly pets. This can help your vet to detect problems that may not be evident just by looking at them.

We love our pets. They are part of the family. And with a little attention and TLC, you can help keep them healthy and happy in their senior years!

By on January 21st, 2014 in Pet Care