National Senior Pet Month
November is National Senior Pet Month!
Did you know your pet is considered a senior at 7? Take a peek at our chart below to see just how old your pet is!
SENIOR PET TIP #1 – KEEP THEM ACTIVE
Our pets naturally slow down as they age. However, it is important to keep them active in order to:
- Maintain strong muscle which support the joints
- Maintain flexibility
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity will exacerbate signs of arthritis and can also lead to respiratory difficulties among many other problems.
SENIOR TIP # 2 – KEEP THEM COMFORTABLE
As your pet ages, they will require changes to their environment to make it easier to eat, sleep, drink, exercise and use the bathroom safely and easily. Here are 5 tips:
- Keep your home comfortably warm: Older pets struggle to regulate their body temperatures, especially in the winter.
- Use pet ramps: It will be easier for your arthritic cat or dog to get up and down staircases, onto furniture, etc.
- Use area rugs and stair treads: This is especially important with large breed dogs. It will help minimize the chance of injury from slipping and falling.
- Buy a geriatric litter box: One with a lower side or a ramp will help them get in and out easier. An under-bed storage bin without it’s lid works great!
- Accessible litter box: Don’t forget to place it in the room where they spend most of their time! Imagine being an arthritic 90 yr old and having to go down a long staircase into the basement to use the bathroom…Then be expected to make it back up!
SENIOR PET TIP # 3: WARNING SIGNS OF DISEASE
As a pet owner, you are most adept at noticing changes in your pet’s behavior. Reporting these changes early to your Veterinarian will allow them to diagnose problems earlier, resulting in early treatment and thereby extending your pet’s life. Here are just some of the signs to watch for:
- Increased thirst and/or urination
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss and/or muscle loss
- Poor haircoat
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Sore mouth/difficulty chewing
- Accidents in the house
- Straining to urinate and/or blood in urine
- Coughing and/or difficulty breathing