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Caring For Senior Dogs and Cats: Tips for a Happy Life

Caring For Senior Dogs and Cats: Tips for a Happy Life

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam ✪ on Unsplash

Watching your pets’ age is one of the most heart-wrenching parts of having a pet around and is a reminder that every day should be cherished. Aging pets is not only alarming but also inevitable, just like we humans do. The only thing we can do to mitigate our sorrow is to spend plenty of time soaking in love and friendship that can make us resilient to the grief of loss later.  

Let’s walk through the best tips that can help you maintain the best possible health conditions for your dogs and cats so that you can treasure them for longer. 

When Pets Should Be Declared “Senior”?

Aging is a natural process. But it is stressful to witness our beloved pets growing older. From jumping around whole day to struggling with stairs, our dogs age with an incredible speed.

Pets age at different rates, which are specifically dependent on their genetic makeup. This means that species type & size, animal lifestyles, and the environment where they live are the leading factors that govern when cats and dogs should be called seniors. On average, our canine and feline friends, reaching 10 – 13 years of age, become senior community members. 

Instead of counting on the numbers, you should keep a strong preventive eye on their falling health conditions and look for the ways to help them in their aging years.

Here are few great tips to consider:

1. Make Regular Veterinary Visits

Pet owners can notice a common thread of health conditions when they observe their pets aging. For example, your pet may not hear you calling for breakfast. Likewise, they may not be able to jump up to their favorite place in the house. Also, their favorite catch game might become too strenuous for them to play. 

However, you can help minimize he severity of diseases by making early detection and timely treatment. Veterinary experts strongly recommend ensuring a regime of checkups after every 5-6 months. 

2. Ensure They Get Appropriate Exercise

As your cats and dogs age, their vitality and energy to do regular tasks also decreases. This is reflected in their enthusiasm for exercise and games. Subsequently, this reduced physical activity can give rise to issues of obesity, arthritis, joint pain, and toenail/claw problems. 

To avoid such health issues, vets recommend ensuring that your senior dogs do regular exercise. That said, you need to reduce the intensity and duration of fitness sessions as the dogs age. The reason is that it becomes difficult for senior pets to maintain workout sessions. 

There are many ways you can ensure an optimum level of exercise. For instance, you can schedule play sessions with their favorite chase toys to physically engage them. In addition, you should let them walk as much as they can feel comfortable since older pets are the best judges of their own.

3. Focus on Their Grooming & Hygiene 

Grooming your elder cat or dog is as important as grooming pups and kittens. But as they age, grooming their hair or taking care of their hygiene becomes more difficult. Generally, cats tend to take care of their claws by trimming through sharpening. 

But the situation is the opposite for the dogs, their nails tend to grow excessively and you would have to spare time for trimming their nails. Therefore, the grooming needs of your dogs and cats should be adequately met. You can find plenty of high-quality dog grooming products at We Love Doodles. So invest in such accessories and ensure the best care of your pets.

4. Monitor Their Weight and Diet

As they age, they become physically less active which results in less calories burning. If you overfeed your senior pet, it can wreak havoc in their weak stomachs. In addition, they will become obese and prone to diabetes which can drastically reduce their life expectancy.  

Therefore, it is crucial to properly manage the food habits and balance the diets of your elderly pets as they age. The best way to weigh your fellow feline or canine companion at home is as follows:

  • ● Place a scale on the floor and record your weight. 
  • ● Then hold your pet in your arms and record the combined weight of along with the pet.
  • ● Then subtract your weight from the combined weight.
  • ● This will give you the weight of the pet.

Regular weight monitoring can help you identify their weight gain or weight loss problems. By consulting with professional vets, they can prescribe you a balanced diet to fight any obesity or weakness problems of your pets.

RELATED: These 10 Types of Food Dogs Better Not Eat!

5. Ensure They Are Properly Vaccinated

You may find out that your pet’s navigation is getting reduced with age and they feel comfortable at home. This reduced outdoor adventure will make your senior pet less prone to communicable diseases. 

But this should not make you rest away, because with age, their immune system becomes weak and less resilient, and their ability to fight and recover declines remarkably. Therefore, make sure your pets are fully vaccinated and you are following your vet’s recommended anti-worm and anti-flea programs.

RELATED: Vaccines for Dogs: Here's Everything You Need to Know About It

6. Make Your Home Pet-Friendly

Another great way of supporting your senior pets in by making your home “senior pet-friendly”. Consider these strategies to ensure a fully optimized home.

  • ● Invest in a comfortable orthopedic bed for your pet
  • ● Use pet stairs or ramps to help them get on and off furniture
  • ● Block off the stairs that signal the threat of your pet
  • ● Place rugs on slippery floors, such as on tiles or wood floor.
  • ● Avoid rearranging furniture as leaning new arrangement can be challenging for them.

Final Words

Life is getting hasty, and you’ve watched your pets, from chewing your slippers to struggling with walking. There are a million other ways that you can adopt to give the best healthy and happy life to your pets that they deserve. Your time is precious, but for your pet, it is priceless. After all, your senior pets adore love and attention. Therefore, taking some extra care is the least you can do to make your old furry friends happy.

Author: M. Hassan Iqbal

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