Depending on the size and breed of your furry friend, the senior years typically begin between 5-7 years of age in cats and dogs. You’re likely to notice a difference in their activity level, their hair may begin graying, and they can show signs of degenerative conditions like arthritis and dental decay. However, there are a number of ways you can help senior pets enjoy the Golden Years, so here are five tips to promote senior pet wellness and keep your aging Fido and/or Fluffy happy and healthy.
1. Diet, Weight, and Nutrition
Senior pet care involves carefully monitoring their diet. Many aging pets become more lethargic and sleep more (sound familiar?) so you’ll need to adjust their caloric intake to control their weight. Specialty foods for senior pets are available, and they’ll often contain extra nutrients such as calcium to help keep their bones strong.
2. Adequate Exercise
Both cats and dogs will still enjoy the attention and activity associated with play time, which helps keep them happy and helps maintain their weight. Toss a ball, take a walk with your pet, toss a furry mouse, or play a game with your pet each day.
3. Help Them ‘Rise’ to the Occasion
As your pet gets older, they may develop arthritis symptoms or have stiff joints that prevent them from getting up onto beds, chairs, and couches to snuggle up with you. If you enjoy the comfort of your pet in these elevated places, consider getting a set of foam steps to prevent the need for them to jump, which can cause injuries.
4. Proper Dental Care
Senior pets still need dental care, because their teeth have likely become yellowed or have greater amounts of plaque present. Beyond home brushings, it’s a good idea to have at least one annual dental cleaning to keep your pet’s oral health maintained.
5. Regular Checkups with a Hayward Veterinarian
Our Hayward Veterinarian recommends that senior pets have at least two annual pet wellness exams. This allows us to check for dental issues, arthritis and other conditions that older pets can develop.
Our Veterinarian in Hayward, CA Offers Superior Senior Pet Care
If you’re looking for the best veterinarian in Hayward, CA or a top Hayward animal hospital, look no further than our team at Caring Pet Hospital. We’re more than an animal hospital in Hayward, CA—we’re a one stop vet for many senior pets, including senior dogs and senior cats!