In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month in November, we would like to share some tips to help you take care of your special senior through the golden years of their life.
Ask your vet about the proper food your elderly dog should eat in order to meet all of their health needs and requirements. Avoid economy or low-cost foods for pets that have fewer nutrients. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps so he or she does not pack on unnecessary pounds. If you like giving your dog snacks or treats in between meals for training or just for their enjoyment, switch to low-calorie treats or try something healthy like carrot sticks, apple slices or green beans.
As a dog ages, they start to slow down like humans. Their walks and daily exercise regime become shortened, if not halted completely. However, even though your dog is maturing in age, it is still important to maintain a daily fitness routine. Older dogs have a tendency to become obese because their owners stop exercising them. Obesity in dogs leads to a multitude of other health issues including arthritis. Because your dog is carrying around extra pounds, it puts pressure on their joints. Continue to walk Fido, even if it is only a short walk around the block. If you are concerned about the stress of the pavement on your dog’s aging paws and joints, try a swim session at Morris Animal Inn if your dog likes water or a canine treadmill that has softer impact. This way your old friend can manage their weight and keep their bodies trim and healthy.
In the golden years of a dog or cat’s life, it is extremely important to maintain a consistent routine of regular check-ups with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will advise you how many times a year it is necessary for your pet to come in for a check-up depending on their health issues and age. Health problems can crop up faster in old pets. If you think your dog or cat is suffering from a health related concern, don’t hesitate to visit your vet, even if it’s before your regular check-up. The longer you delay, the worse the problem could become.
The older your pet, the worse their teeth get if you never took care of them. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly; it is never too late to start. You can use a cotton swab with special canine or feline toothpaste to massage your pet’s teeth and gums. If your pet detests having something foreign forced in their mouth, you can try the Fresh Breath Water Additive which helps to promote healthy gums. At Morris Animal Inn, we carry Tropiclean’s line of Fresh Breath products. However, you should discuss which product is best for your pet’s dental hygiene with your veterinarian.
Though senior pets require special care, it is not much different from the care you would provide a pet of any age. Don’t let their maturity deter you from adopting an older dog or cat that could wind up being the love of your life. No dog or cat wants to spend the last years of their life in an animal shelter. Give them the warm home they deserve and prove to these aged creatures that they are never too old to be loved, kissed and cuddled unconditionally. And honestly, who can resist a grizzled, grey muzzle?