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Nothing is quite like the love of a senior pet.
That silver-speckled face and those soulful eyes serve as a reminder of all the wonderful memories you’ve shared together over the years. To make the most of your senior pet’s life, however, you need to provide special care that focuses on comfort. After all, quality of life has never been more important, so use these tips to give your aging pet(s) the warmth and care they deserve.
Keep an Eye (and Ear) Out for Indications of Pain
Senior pet owners may not know when their furry companions are experiencing pain. Some signs are easily visible, such as limping or a wound. However, other indicators may be more difficult to spot if you don’t observe your pets closely. Pets can emit verbal cues when they’re in pain. With a dog, pain signals include whining, whimpering, howling, and yelping. Cats can express pain by constantly meowing, purring, or by hissing when you approach them. Another sign if pain may be a hunched-over stance.
Make Mobility Easier for Aging and Arthritic Animals
Aging affects senior animals in many of the same ways that it does senior people. Senior dogs and cats are prone to arthritis and inflammation, which can make moving around a little more difficult. So, if you notice your pet limping or struggling to get off and on furniture, it may be time to invest in a set of pet steps or stairs. Using steps and stairs to help your pet climb in and out of your car, as well as access furniture, can really make a difference in their quality of life. As you shop, be sure to read through reviews to pick the best steps or stairs for your pet’s mobility needs and size specifications. Enhanced mobility can also be achieved with the use of supplements, so ask your vet for specific recommendations for your pet. Bone broth can be a tasty treat for senior pets and can also provide chondroitin for healthy joints.
Provide Specialty Care for Senior Pets with Disabilities
Arthritis is not the only health concern for aging companion animals. Many pets experience decreased vision as they grow older. A happy life is still possible for pets who are blind or have limited vision, but it does require a little more work on your part. Sound and smell will become the most important cues for getting your pet’s attention. You can attach audible tools, like bells to yourself and other companion animals to help comfort your pet. Some senior pets may also experience a more severe loss of mobility as they get older or experience illness. Animals are pretty resilient, however, and can still enjoy their life with the help of mobility tools, such as supportive harnesses, strollers, and even wheelchairs. Love and patience are always the most important things you can offer your pet with disabilities, but these aids can help as well.
Heal Sensitive Senior Tummies with Quality Food and Treats
Just like arthritis and limited mobility, food sensitivities seem to come with the territory of being a senior pet parent. Your dogs or cats may have different nutritional needs than when they were younger. Diet changes may address these needs. For many pet owners, that means adding probiotics to their pet’s food to provide much needed digestive health support. Having a healthy gut is just as important for your pets as it is for you, so selecting a probiotic source can help your senior pet thrive. If you have a picky eater or a pet with fewer teeth, you may also cook healthy meals for your aging pet using your crockpot.
Take Your Senior Pet’s Oral Health Very Seriously
Cooking easy-to-chew meals for your senior pet is a sweet gesture but you may prevent painful tooth and gum problems in the first place. Regular brushings and dental cleanings are two of the most important steps for keeping your pet’s mouth healthy from their youth to senior years. With these two simple steps, you may prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and serious bacterial infections. Plus, you may add more years to your pet’s life! That’s enough of a reason to make your senior pet’s dental health a priority. Proper dental care may also reduce pet odors. This may make cuddle sessions more enjoyable for you.
Pets provide so much unconditional devotion. Repay that unparalleled love by supplying endless amounts of compassion and care during their senior years. Take special care of your pet’s health and be on the lookout for common senior pet problems that need to be addressed. Doing so may not extend the life of your pet but it will enhance the time you have remaining.
Guest blogger: Nick Burton
Photo credit: Unsplash