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Tips to keep your senior pet healthy

Close up of older dog in the grass

We might deny it, we might not accept it, we might even resist it, but it is indeed hard to ignore that our pets usually age faster than we do.

Your beloved cat or the dog that has been a part of your family since forever might just be aging faster than you currently realize. There will soon come a time when your pet will become a senior and have special needs. If you neglect that fact, you will be doing nothing but making life difficult for them.

If you, like many others, want to keep your pet healthy and live out their senior days happy like any other family member; you should take extra care of their needs once they become seniors. A senior pet requires a lot of special attention and care, which you will only provide if you accept their seniority.

We have compiled a list of tips you can follow to keep your pet healthy and fit once they grow older.

Make Visiting the Vet a Priority Senior veterinarians and pet experts recommend that senior pets be taken to vets on a more regular basis. You should make it a routine to take your pet to the vet once every six months. This way, the vet will be able to come to you about any of your pet’s impending health issues before they start affecting its quality of life.

Make your choice of preferred vet and stick to them, because constantly changing them is not doing anyone any good. Vets take time to understand a pet, and diagnose what kind of health conditions might be plaguing them. They can better access the needs and the lifestyle that the pet will require at this stage of life.

Do remember to question your vet a lot. Keep throwing random questions at the vet regarding behavioral changes that your pet is displaying. Discuss the reasons behind these mood swings till you’re satisfied with the answers. If your cat is not able to jump down the stairs as fast as it used to, or if your dog is not able to run with the same speed, the vet needs to know. Vets require information about any behavioral changes or mood swings your animal friend is experiencing.

Watch their Weight This is extremely important, especially if you have a pet cat. Any irregular weight gains or change in eating patterns suggest that your kitty needs a drastic visit to the vet. Weight gain at mid age can threaten cats and other pets with chronic diseases later on. Mental illness and diabetes, within pets, can also cause rapid weight loss or gain.

When pets become older they may start losing weight as well, which can be an indication of a bigger underlying problem. Weight loss is not correlated to the food your pet eats. They might be losing weight, even if their food consumption is normal. This is why, it is important that your monitor and manage the weight of your senior pets regularly. If you witness an alarming increase or decrease in their weight, you should immediately look for the services of an able vet.

Monitor Their Food Intake Owners who have multiple pets often fail to monitor the food intake of all their pets. This practice needs to be changed once you have a senior pet amongst the lot. A senior pet has diverse food requirements, so you should take special care monitoring the tray or utensil they eat in, so that you have an idea of their food intake. Senior pets eating less than normal indicates that something is amiss.

Moreover, rather than just monitoring the quantity of food they consume, you should also alter their diet. Dietary requirements are ever changing and once your pets grow old, there is special emphasis on providing them with special food that caters to their special needs. You will be able to find food for senor pets at your local pet supply or even superstore. But if you want to be extremely sure, you should go over to your vet to get an idea of what will be suitable for them at this stage of life. If your dog has been diagnosed for any diseases, you should also take that into consideration while choosing the diet.

Lookout for Staircases With arthritis and other conditions limiting mobility, pets start to dread the thought of climbing stairs, once they grow older. It’s on you to provide them with assistance in this regard. If you have stairs in your home, you should make sure that senior pets don’t have to trudge over them. Bring everything of their interest downstairs and limit the chances of any accidents whatsoever.

All litter boxes and sleeping areas should be limited to the ground floor, so that your pet friend does not have to make the arduous climb up the stairs. Any neglect

shown in this regard might cause accidents and will lead to countless visits to the vet.

Pimp Their Bed Once they get old, your pet deserves to be pampered with care and love. One such show of love is making them feel extra comfortable in their beds. Make their beds comfy and provide soft blankets and towels for the bed. Your pet should feel at ease on their bed and should have a peaceful sleep during the night. You can also us special-purpose beds and mattresses recommended by orthopedics, if your pet is suffering from arthritis. The gentle vibrations would help them doze off within a few minutes without feeling the pain of their aching bones.

Strengthen Your Bond with Them While many might be against getting too attached with a pet when it is in the twilight of its life, a strong bond with the one person they have so flawlessly loved for all of their life is what pets want during this stage.

Be near them at all times and make it a habit to cuddle and embrace them occasionally. All pets need to be loved, but senior pets deserve a lot more for showing loyalty during their whole life. Remember that at this stage, your pet needs you as much as you need them. Make memories,

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