Is your pet aging? Like children, pets have a way of growing old faster than pet “parents” anticipate. As your pet ages, he may need special care to stay healthy and happy throughout his elderly years. At Sun Surf Veterinarian Hospital, we can help educate you on how to care for your elderly pet. Knowing what to expect from your elderly canine or feline companion will make it easier for you to enjoy their geriatric years.
Common Signs of Aging
No two pets are alike when it comes to showing signs of aging. There are telltale signs pet owners can look out for to indicate their pet is entering its geriatric stage. Many veterinarians consider a dog or cat over 8 years of age elderly, even if he or she is still active.
Some common signs of your pet aging include:
- Reduced activity
- Problems hearing or seeing
- Slow response time
- Longer periods of sleep
Slowing down is a common sign of a pet aging. Your pet may have difficulty getting up from a nap or climbing up and down stairs. He may experience hearing or vision problems which may affect his response time when you call. Your pet may also sleep much longer than usual or take extra naps during the day. As your pet ages, he may not be able to keep up with his normal routine or active lifestyle. You may have to alter your pet’s diet, exercise or playtime to accommodate his elderly needs.
Geriatric Pet Care
It’s not unusual for dogs or cats today to live 14 or 15 years or longer. Regular visits to Sun Surf Veterinarian Hospital will make it easier for you to stay on top of your pet’s medical care. Through regular pet checkups, we can diagnose health problems early on so your pet can get the treatment he needs. Early diagnosis of health problems could save your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering or having to undergo extensive and expensive treatments in his elderly years.
Geriatric pets need a nutritious diet to maintain their strength and health. We can give you tips on dietary plans to include nutritional supplements that can benefit your elderly pet. Your pet’s dental health is also important as he grows older. Professional teeth cleaning by our experienced staff can keep your pet’s teeth and gums free of infections and decay. Maintaining good grooming habits to include regular bathing and brushing will help keep your pet in better health as he ages.
Although your pet may slow down in his elderly years, he still needs some form of exercise. Rather than rambunctious play in the park, your dog may appreciate daily walks to get fresh air, exercise and sun. Your elderly cat may still enjoy exploring the garden or frisking about the house. Encouraging your pet to stay active within his physical abilities will keep him healthy longer.
Growing old with your pet can be a wonderful experience. At Sun Surf Veterinarian Hospital, we look forward to providing you with the services you need to help your pet enjoy a higher quality of life in his golden years.