One of the things our Louisa, VA, veterinary care team loves the most is having pets that we watch grow from puppy to adult. Each phase of life is important and we cherish those furry clients with whom we watch grow old and happy.
Just as each phase of life is important, each phase of life comes with its challenges and concerns. As your pet reaches his senior years, it's important to ensure he regularly gets the senior pet care that he needs to stay as healthy and happy as possible in his golden years. The following is a look at some key senior pet care tips that we advise for all of our older four-legged clients.
Senior Pet Wellness Tips
- Keep an eye on behavioral changes. Your pet may not be able to say words, but his behavior can often speak volumes. Watch for a senior pet who suddenly exhibits new behaviors like increased fatigue, decreased appetite, changes in bowel movements, or new irritability. These behaviors can all be signs of an underlying medical condition.
- Switch to a more senior-friendly diet. Senior pets will naturally slow down, and that's alright. But what isn't alright is feeding him the same high-calorie, high-volume diet that he had when he was at his prime activity-levels. Weight gain can exacerbate many health issues in senior pets and so it's important to talk to your veterinarian about getting your pet on the right diet.
- Check for signs of arthritis. Arthritis is a common ailment among older pets, but the good news is that treatments like anti-inflammatories and low-impact exercises can prevent arthritis from being incredibly painful. You'll want to talk to your vet about arthritis treatment options if you notice any of the following signs in your senior pet:
- Issues climbing or going down stairs
- General reduced activity or less enthusiasm for activities he once enjoyed
- Seemingly stiff joints or shaky legs
- Issues sitting or standing for an extended period
- Schedule regular vet visits. Just as with humans, as your pet ages, the more frequent he should see the veterinarian so that the vet can monitor his general health and identify things like cancer, glaucoma, and other age-related health issues as early as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to make the best recommendations for your senior pet, but often, senior pets should be scheduled for bi-annual or even tri-annual check-ups for best results.
Schedule Your Senior Pet Care Exam Today
For more information about senior pet care advice and general senior pet wellness, or to schedule an appointment for your pet to see the veterinarian, call our team at Central Virginia Veterinary Clinic today at (540) 967-1404.