Senior pets have a greater need for special care than younger ones do. There are many health conditions that can arise as your pet gets older. Some are unavoidable, but many can be avoided by taking preventive measures throughout their lives.
Feeding a high quality senior diet can help, as senior pets generally need a lower calorie, higher fibre diet. As they get older, their metabolism slows down and they are more likely to gain weight. Overweight pets are more prone to diseases, so be careful not to overfeed. Obesity in older pets can put a strain on their organs which can lead to diabetes and other conditions. Check with your veterinarian to determine how much and what type of food is best suited for your pet.
Arthritis can cause your pet to slow down and tire more easily which can also lead to weight gain. Adding supplements to their diet such as glucosamine can help with arthritis, but keeping the weight off puts less strain on their joints and muscles and helps reduce their discomfort. Exercising your pet can help keep them in good condition and maintain healthy joints. Physiotherapy, such as swimming, can also be beneficial as well as asking your Vet about anti-inflammatory medication.
Monitor your pet for weight loss. Some conditions including liver, kidney, and heart diseases can result in weight loss. Bringing them in for regular exams will ensure your pet gets the proper care as they age. Regular blood work can show early signs of disease that may not be apparent on a physical exam.
Taking care of your pet’s teeth by brushing them daily can decrease the chances of dental disease which can make it difficult to eat, resulting in weight loss. As well as causing pain, dental disease causes bacteria in the bloodstream and puts your pet at risk for other problems such as heart, lung, kidney and joint infections.
Proper preventive care is important and can ensure your pet spends as many healthy and happy years as possible with you and your family.