Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. For this reason, it’s your job as a pet owner to make their years really count. And just as you’ve provided them love and care through their younger years, the same holds true as they age, as extra care and attention will be needed more than ever.
Here are some of the best ways you can do just that.
Focus on Nutrition
A balanced diet is necessary to keep your pet healthy, and this becomes more important as they age. With less activity, older animals need fewer calories. Moreover, they are more likely to gain weight, which can lead to a variety of health problems. The trick is to know when to switch to a more age-appropriate diet that focuses on the nutrients that they need at this stage. Some pets will not only need different formulas, they’ll also need different textures. For example, pets with gum and tooth issues will do better with wet food than dry.
Keeping your dog or cat’s digestive system healthy is important, too. For this reason, your pet will also benefit from supplements that promote a healthy gut, which, in turn, leads to good digestion and strengthens the immune system to boot. our research on the best supplements for felines by reading reviews and other resources.
Encourage Physical Activity
Animals — especially dogs — seemingly have infinite amounts of energy, but even the most energetic ones slow down as they get older. This doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to sleep all the time; on the contrary, exercise is still very much a necessity.
In the case of dogs, you have to take into account your pet’s physical conditions. But more often than not, regular walks — albeit at a slower pace and a shorter distance — are still a great way to keep your doc active. Low-impact activities like swimming are also appropriate for exercising senior dogs.
Visit the Vet
Just like humans, visits to the doctor become more frequent as pets get older. Generally, it’s good practice to make routine vet visits so they can get the requisite vaccinations, blood screening, and dental care, which, in turn, will help keep your pet healthy, longer.
It’s also important to see the vet when you observe signs like physical changes and shifts in behavior. As pets get older, they become susceptible to diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and more. With quick action on your part and early diagnosis, they have a fighting chance at a successful treatment. And while this will inevitably put a real strain on your budget, you can always explore ways to get help with vet bills.
Maintain Quality of Life
Finally, the best thing you can do for your senior pet is to keep them comfortable as they navigate the perils of old age, and maybe even spoil them a little without aggravating any medical conditions they might have. Often, this can be measures that are as simple as elevating food and water bowls, keeping them warm, finding a comfy pet carrier for longer treks and installing pet ramps or steps, among others.
Ultimately, caring for a senior pet boils down to showering them with infinite amounts of love and care, and providing copious amounts of comfort. Indeed, it’s a fitting repayment for the life they spent offering the same to you.
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