First off, what’s considered ‘old age’ for housepets? That depends on your pet’s genetics, the condition of their health as well as environmental factors. As a general guideline, dogs are considered seniors around age seven. Cats, on the other hand, reach senior status between ages 11 and 14. If your pet is over or underweight, that can alter their ageing process.
As with most species, there are physical and mental signs of ageing for all pets. These signs include graying or lightening hair around the face, troubles with their vision and hearing, sleeping for longer stretches of time and more often, and changes in their eating habits. While these may be common ageing signs, there are other issues that can indicate your pet is reaching old age. Older pets are more likely to develop arthritis, heart issues, cancer and respiratory problems. Making sure your pets are properly cared for is the most important part of owning a pet, and we’re here to tell you exactly how you can do it.
A Proper Diet and Exercise
Watch what you feed your pets and adjust their servings to keep them at a healthy weight. As pets age, it’s easier for them to gain or lose weight. You want to make sure they’re being fed the right amount of food to stay at the optimal mass for their breed and age. Older pets need fewer calories if they’re less active, otherwise, they’ll quickly gain an unhealthy amount of weight. As you feed them, keep your pets moving through daily walks and other forms of exercise. This will help to keep their bodies strong and flexible, while also improving their mood.
Good Dental Hygiene
Dental care isn’t only important for humans. Older pets with poor dental health are at a higher risk of developing a dental disease, which can be painful and make eating unbearable. Their inability to eat will also affect their health negatively, putting them at risk of contracting other diseases. Make sure to brush your pet’s teeth daily while also taking them to the vet for regular dental cleanings.
Safety and Accessibility
For senior pets that have vision and hearing problems, it’s your job to keep them out of danger. That could mean putting up gates, moving dangerous objects out of their path along with other safety precautions throughout your home. For cats or dogs who’ve lost their hearing, try using hand signals to communicate with them. For pets with joint or muscles issues, make sure they have the necessary equipment to get around or relax comfortably. Consult with your veterinarian regarding products or treatments that can help make your pet as content as possible.
Increased Vet Visits
Preventative care is the key to helping your pets live long and comfortable lives. This means testing for early signs of cancer and other health problems sooner rather than later. Visiting your veterinarian more frequently is a must, as they’ll examine your pet and be able to detect anything abnormal. Always listen to what they recommend in terms of food, exercise or medications, as they’re there to get your pet as healthy as possible.
If you’re located in the Mississauga area and are in need of a new veterinarian clinic, then Aquitaine Animal Hospital is the place for you and your pet. New patients are always welcome at our clinic! Our trained staff offers several pet care services, including medical, surgical and dental care, nutrition consulting, vaccinations, emergency care and more. Feel free to give us a call anytime for more information.