As a veterinary in Idaho Falls we would like to share some tips for caring for your senior loved one. Aging in our pets typically begins gradually. Perhaps you notice some gray hairs or the once brisk walks are now leisurely strolls. Taking care of a senior pet requires a little more attention and patience than when they were younger.
Aside from keeping your pet comfortable in their older years, quality care keeps them healthy while giving you peace of mind. Following are our top tips for caring for your senior loved one.
- Your pet’s behavior provides important clues. While an older dog is naturally less active, paying attention to unusual behaviors can help you detect problems early. Look for signs like:
- Increased irritability;
- Diminished appetite;
- Increased water consumption;
- Obvious changes in bowel movements or urination.
- Schedule regular visits to the vet. Regular medical exams give you and your pet an advantage in detecting age-related health problems before they worsen.
- Alter their diet. Older pets require fewer calories because they’re less active. This is especially important because weight gain can lead to – or aggravate – a number of health problems.
- Keep them moving. Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise as part of their senior pet care program. Your dog might not jump or chase frisbees the way he or she used to, but exercise keeps their joints healthy, their weight down, and provides mental stimulation.
- Look for signs of arthritis. Arthritis is quite common in older pets. Contact your vet if you notice any of these symptoms for an extended period of time:
- Difficulty climbing stairs;
- Reduced activity;
- Stiff joints;
- Problems sitting down or standing up.
- Make your home senior-friendly. You can make changes to their surroundings that can help them. Buy an orthopedic bed, keep them warm with a jacket or sweater and provide easy access to water.
- Exercise patience. Senior pets may experience loss of sight and/or hearing, so give them extra time to get around.
- Help them keep clean. Help your pet by brushing their teeth regularly. Brush them to keep their fur neat and clean. This care provides a good time for the two of you to bond.
- Focus on their quality of life. The more quality time you can spend together, the better her quality of life will be.
The best way to improve the quality of your senior pet’s life is through excellent medical care. Call our office today to speak with a veterinary in Idaho Falls to schedule an appointment so we can discuss how to keep them as comfortable as possible.