by: Valerie Lee Veltre
Three time National award winning author of Moo Kitty Finds a Home
Since November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, it’s timely to consider your senior pet’s health needs. Here are some tips to help you do that!
1. Regular Wellness Checks
Make sure your senior pet has regular visits with your veterinarian. Thorough physical exams by your veterinarian may identify potential health issues before they become serious.
2. Know Your Pet & Act on Behavior Changes
Watch your senior pet’s behavior carefully. This is important for all pets but doubly so for senior dogs and cats. Changes in your pet’s behavior may be a symptom of disease.
Look for changes in your pet’s appetite and water consumption, and bathroom habits.
If your sweetheart suddenly turns grumpy and irritable, this could be a sign that she is in pain or experiencing sight or hearing deterioration. Changes such as these in you pet’s routines and behaviors should prompt a trip to your vet for a check up.
3. Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet
Just as with people, dietary requirements change with age. It’s important that you provide your senior pet food that is age appropriate. Some older pets tend to gain weight and may need a diet for less active dogs or cats. Others may have the opposite problem of keeping weight on and may need a diet with a higher calorie content or better palatability. Your veterinarian can help you choose an appropriate diet for your senior pet based on your pet’s individual nutritional requirements.
Even in their older years, pets require exercise and mental stimulation that playtime offers. Buy toys and healthy treats, and offer at least 15 minutes a day of playtime to pet. Play lets your pet interact and bond with you and keeps him young at heart!