November is Senior Pet Month! Just like people, dogs and cats go through some changes as they grow older. Your furry friend will always be the same loyal and lovable companion as always, but their needs will change over time. Here, a Hendersonville, NC vet discusses keeping a senior pet healthy.
Senior pets have different nutritional needs than puppies and kittens. They don’t burn as much energy, but do sometimes have more trouble digesting fats and proteins properly. Your vet can advise you about switching over to a senior-friendly formula when the time comes. Supplements may also be helpful, though they are not one-size-fits-all. A dog with arthritis may benefit from glucosamine or fish oil, while something with lutein or astaxanthin may be a better option for one with vision issues. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
Safety should always be a priority, no matter how old your pet is. However, that’s going to look a bit different at this stage in your furry pal’s life. For example, senior dogs are usually more at risk from slip-and-fall injuries than from choking on your remote control. Pay attention to things like temperature, footing, paw care, and ease of access.
Fluffy and Fido may not be as rambunctious or frisky as they were as babies, but they’ll still need entertainment and enrichment. Most of our canine companions need at least a daily walk. (Swimming can also be a great option for Fido, assuming he enjoys it.) As for Fluffy, offer her fun toys and take time to play with her every day. The physical exercise and mental stimulation are both great for her.
Older pets are at increased risk of developing various medical issues, such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, to name just a few. Your best bet is to closely monitor your furry friend’s health, which means regular exams. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for signs of illness or injury. Call us immediately if you notice anything off.
Love And Comfort
Small touches can go a long way. Provide things like soft beds and, for cats, senior-friendly litterboxes, and spend time with Fluffy and Fido daily. Just making sure they feel loved, safe, and comfortable will go a long way towards keeping those purrs and tail wags coming.
Please reach out to us, your local Hendersonville, NC pet hospital, with any questions about your pet’s health or care. We are here for you!