Senior pet care is vital to your pet's lifespanThey’re always delighted to see us, they forgive us instantly, and snuggling with them is one of the best parts of our day. There’s no doubt that our pets mean the world to us. Whether we raised them from babyhood or adopted an older pet, providing the best care as they age should be a top priority for every owner.  

At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we can’t think of anything better than seeing a cherished pet live a long and happy life. We’re always here to support you and your pet, which is why we want to outline some of our top senior pet care strategies.

A Changing Landscape

In general, dogs and cats are considered “senior” between 6-9 years of age. Specifics can vary depending on factors such as breed, size, and species. Senior pets are at greater risk for many of the same illnesses and conditions that tend to affect older humans (e.g., cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease). Typical signs of aging may include:

  • Lumps, bumps, or other skin issues
  • Increased or strained urination (usually as a result of kidney disorders)
  • Joint-related problems
  • Dental disease
  • Intestinal troubles
  • Vision and/or hearing loss
  • Cognitive ailments

Although consistent preventive care is important for all pets, it’s recommended that senior pets receive wellness exams twice a year. Pets age more rapidly than humans, so regular veterinary care is a must for the early diagnosis and treatment of age-related health issues.

Senior Pet Care Basics

Senior pet care doesn’t end with your pet’s biannual wellness exams. Tailored adjustments to your regular pet care routine, along with the love and affection you already give your sweet pet, are all that’s needed to keep them healthy and comfortable. Consider the following:

  • Your pet’s metabolism and nutritional requirements may change as they age, so choosing the right food to meet their needs is more important than ever. Your veterinarian can help you find the right nutrition plan for your pet.
  • Daily exercise helps senior pets maintain a healthy weight and reduces the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Raised food and water bowls, orthopedic beds, and other products are available for pets with mobility issues.
  • Pets tend to become more sensitive to the elements as they age; paying extra attention to extremes in temperature and humidity is important. Keep senior pets inside on very warm or cold days, and make use of heated beds or cooling pads as needed.
  • Good oral hygiene is extremely important for senior pets – it can literally add years to their lives. It’s never too late to start a daily brushing routine (always use a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste). Regular comprehensive dental exams and cleanings are also critical.

We Can Help

Although your pet will never complain, older pets are likely to experience some physical discomfort as they age. Talk with your veterinarian about pain management options for your pet, including our cold laser therapy services.

Early detection is critical when it comes to senior pet care. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital if you notice any changes in your pet’s overall health or personality. Our Petly Wellness Plans make it easy and affordable to provide your senior pet with the preventive care they need to stay healthy. Give us a call to find out more!