Is your pet entering their golden years? This month Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic is celebrating senior pets and the joy they bring to our lives. As your pet ages, their needs may change, and you may need to take additional precautions to keep them happy and healthy. We’re here to share some helpful tips about caring for your senior pets and how you can help them celebrate the best years of their life.
Here’s what you need to know!
Is Your Pet a Senior Citizen?
Determining when your pet reaches its senior status can be a bit tricky. For most pets, this occurs around seven years of age. However, it can be early in large breed dogs. If you notice your pet is showing a little more grey or starting to slow down, it may be time to consider some lifestyle changes to help your pet age gracefully.
Improving Your Pet’s Comfort
Mobility problems are a common concern as pets get older. Arthritis can cause your pet significant discomfort and make simple tasks more difficult. Luckily, there are a few ways you can improve your pet’s comfort and help them out around the house.
Investing in an orthopedic bed is a great place to start. Soft beds don’t always provide the extra support an older pet needs. Orthopedic beds provide firm support to keep your pet comfortable and reduce excess strain on their joints.
Another way to help your aging pet is to consider carpet runners for slick surfaces. Tile and hardwood floors and be slippery and increase your pet’s risk of falling. A carpet runner can provide additional traction and make it easier for your pet to get around.
Keeping your Pet Engaged
Senior pets need mental stimulation and physical activity, just like everyone else. While you may need to tailor certain activities to their comfort level and mobility issues, keeping your pet active and engaged is essential. Walking is an excellent low-stress activity that can be adjusted to your pet’s needs and can help improve their physical health.
Food puzzles and enrichment activities provide mental stimulation and keep the mind sharp. Likewise, there’s no reason you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Training exercises offer a physical and mental workout for your pet. They’re also a great way to add some excitement to your pet’s day and strengthen the special bond you share.
Caring for Your Pet’s Medical Needs
As your pet ages, their medical needs may change. Older pets are at greater risk of disease, and more frequent veterinary visits are recommended. These visits can help monitor your pet’s health over time and detect early signs of disease. We recommend bi-annual appointments for our senior patients and additional diagnostic testing. During your pet’s wellness visits, we can answer any questions you may have about your senior pet’s care and discuss changes that may be necessary to improve your pet’s comfort and health.
As your pet enters their golden years, it’s essential to celebrate the time you’ve shared and their important role in your life. We hope these tips have provided some helpful insight into your aging pet’s needs and how you can help them live out their best years.
If you have additional questions about caring for your pet or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 651-202-3388. We hope you’ll take some time to celebrate your senior pet and show them some extra love!
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