Though they age much faster than people, pets have similar needs as humans during the aging process. With pets now living longer than ever before, and there are everyday changes you can make to your senior pet’s lifestyle that will increase their chances of a long and happy life. From going to the vet more often to massaging their muscles, here are six ways to care for your older pet.
1. Go to the vet
You may be used to taking your pet to the vet once a year, but when he reaches his golden years, you will want to visit at least twice a year for checkups. Exams and blood tests during these appointments will help you stay up-to-date on your pet’s health and out in front of potential issues. Also, it’s critical that you have a veterinarian you can trust, as they will be able to guide you along as you navigate your pet’s senior years.
2. Ask about CBD oil
CBD oil is a newer product on the market that can help older pets thrive in several ways. For instance, it can ease joint pain and inflammation, clear up skin issues, and relieve anxiety and phobia. Though it’s becoming increasingly popular for pets, it’s essential to consult your vet about CBD oil before administering. If you get the green light from your vet, look into the various types of CBD oil on buyer’s guides like this one to see which type is best suited for your pet.
3. Consider changing their diet
When pets start to become less active, they need fewer calories from their diet. If aging animals continue eating the same amount as they did when younger, they are at risk for becoming obese, which can lead to joint issues and a plethora of diseases. Check with your vet about a specific diet that will work for your pet. A vet can consider your pet’s unique needs and design the right diet plan, as well as recommend any necessary supplements (e.g., for joint issues, mobility, etc.) and specialized foods.
4. Keep them active
Even though your pet may not be as active in his golden years as he was in his youth, it’s still essential for him to get some form of exercise because it helps to manage weight and can slow the process of arthritis. Start with a 10 or 15-minute walk and monitor your pet to make sure he doesn’t become overtired or overheated. Another great activity for senior pets is supervised swimming in a pool, because it is low-impact and relaxing.
5. Keep them safe
It’s common for older pets to lose their sight and/or hearing. In order to keep a senior animal safe, it’s important to make accommodations. For instance, remove from his path any objects that could be harmful, and purchase a pet gate so that he has a specific space where he can be comfortable when you’re not around. Also, non-slip mats are effective for pets who are dealing with joint issues, as they help prevent sliding and falling.
6. Show them love
Last but not least, remember to show your pet affection in the form of physical contact. If your pet has joint issues, a good massage can do wonders in relieving his pain; even if he doesn’t have joint issues, massages are great for relaxing your pet. Other things to consider are regularly brushing through your pet’s fur, brushing his teeth, and taking any other necessary steps to maintain hygiene and comfort.
Caring for your senior pet is essential to prolonging and maintaining his quality of life. Plan to take him to the vet at least twice a year, and consider CBD oil as a treatment. Check with your vet for diet recommendations, and make sure your pet gets regular physical activity. Finally, take steps to keep him safe and show affection. If you follow tips like these each day, you’ll enjoy a stronger bond with your pet for more years to come.
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Note: This post comes from an owner we know well. Whilst we're happy for the owner's content to be displayed on our website, please be advised that the information in this post does not come from any of the staff at Northdale Vets.