There’s just something about a puppy. That “new puppy smell”, their cute miniature features and their high energy can leave us swooning. But whether you start with a puppy or adopt an older pet, there comes a time for all pet owners when it becomes important to learn how best to care for a senior pet.
Blogpaws, a pet-focused social media company, has declared August as Senior Pet Month in honor of our oldest furry friends. They offer tips for helping your pet age into their golden years, and ideas for how best to care for them once they get there.
The first step to helping your pet have a graceful and healthy transition into old age is to know any health issues that could arise. Research your pet’s breed to know what to prepare for, as everything from joints and muscles to skin, fur and teeth can age differently from pet to pet.
One of the most important ways you can protect your pet as they age is to keep them healthy and fit. Feeding your pet an appropriate diet is a must for a dog or cat of any age. The type and amount of food you give them should be influenced by their size, breed and activity level. Talk with your vet about your pet’s specific needs, and be sure to read the labels on bags of pet food to know exactly what you are feeding your pet. Protein is an important element in your aging pet’s diet, as it supports muscle mass.
A healthy diet plus regular exercise can help ward off obesity, which is crucial to your pet’s long-term health. Extra weight can put more pressure on aging joints and muscles, a strain that can be prevented by keeping your pet active as they age. If your pet starts to become less active, you may want to reconsider the amount and type of food that they eat on a daily basis.
Any changes in your pet’s behavior or diet should always be discussed with your vet. Regular veterinary visits as your pet ages can help to prevent potential illness and weakness, keeping your pet happy and healthy into their senior years.