March 15, 2021 2 min read

Dogs and cats are living longer than ever, thanks to advances in veterinary care and healthy diets. A pet may be considered a senior about 7 years on average if you’re going to consider all breeds and sizes together. But small breed of dogs and cats do tend to age less quickly than larger/giant breeds.

As your pet enters their senior years, you’ll want to make some changes in the care you provide to let them live healthier and happier lives throughout their years. Here are some tips.

 

  1. FEED ALL-NATURAL SENIOR PET FOOD

Transition your pet to a diet specifically formulated for senior pets, which are easier to digest and formulated for their changing nutritional needs. You may also want to add in more wet food to their meals so that it will be easier for your senior pets to chew on.

  1. WATCH OUT FOR THEIR WEIGHT

Maintaining a healthy weight is more important than ever, as weight has a significant impact on over health and longevity. Keep an eye out for sudden increases or decreases in weight which can be a sign or cause of health issues.

 

  1. ENCOURAGE MODERATE EXERCISE AND PLAYTIME

Exercise will continue to be important, but you’ll need to adjust it over time, based on your pet’s abilities and energy level. The exercise that you provide may be slower, but walks and interactive toys keep your furbabies in better shape, both mentally and physically.

  1. AVOID HARD CHEW TOYS/BONES

You’ll want to also avoid giving your pets hard chew toys and bones, as brittle aging teeth, can be more likely to break while chewing these items.

  1. WATCH OUT FOR SIGNS OF ARTHRITIS

Pets get arthritis just like humans.

Symptoms include:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Seemingly stiff or sore joints
  • Hesitancy to jump, run, or climb stairs
  • Decreased interest in activity or play
  • Behavior changes
  • Sleeping more
  • Weight gain
  • Less alert

The symptoms are fairly obvious, but others can be easy to confuse with normal aging. If your pet is exhibiting signs of joint pain, schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss treatment options. You may also try giving your pet some supplements to help keep their hips & joints healthy.


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