Keeping your older pet healthy & happy
- Avoid accidents in the house. Your older dog may need to go out to urinate more often. Make sure he has the opportunity. Make sure your kitty has easy access to her litter box and/or increase the number of litter boxes available.
- Older animals have a harder time adapting to temperature extremes. Make sure they have a warm place to go in the winter and a coo place in the summer. Provide shelter for outdoor pets.
- Prevent obesity. Older pets usually require fewer calories as their activity levels slow. Unless a special diet is prescribed for medical reasons, feed a premium senior diet with less fat and more fiber. (Check ingredients or ask your veterinarian). Take your dog form moderate walks (15-30 min.) twice a day. Don’t forget plenty of fresh water!
- Provide a nice soft bed – it’s easier on aging joints. Climbing stairs or jumping into vehicles can also be difficult for them…provide assistance for these activities if your pet seems slow or painful.
- Avoid stress or confusion at home. This includes keeping beds, bowls and litter boxes in a consistent location. Keep a daily routine. Instruct children to respect your senior pet’s need for rest and quiet.
- Take the time to give your senior plenty of affection and attention. Make them as much of a part of your life as possible. If you are going out of town, find a respectable kennel where they are comfortable or have a friend stay with them in your home.
- Regular bathing and brushing will keep your pet and your home clean and comfortable. At the same time, you can check for any lumps, bumps, sores or parasites.
- Provide appropriate dental care as directed by your veterinarian. Bad breath, difficulty eating, infections and heart problems are just a few of the complications of poor oral hygiene.
- Visit your veterinarian regularly. Don’t wait until your pet is really sick. Early intervention can help avoid high veterinary costs for treatment and hospitalization.