Senior pets are a growing phenomenon. With more people living longer, many of us have adopted an older pet or plan to in the near future. In some ways, our aging pet is a blessing. They offer companionship and love, and many of them behave very well as housemates. On the other hand, some conditions that we were able to easily manage when they were younger can become much more difficult once our pet enters their senior years.
From developing diabetes to the increase in heart disease, the physiological changes we experience as we age can be detrimental for our pets too. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help your senior pet stay healthy for as long as possible. Keep reading for tips on how to keep your senior pet happy and healthy throughout their golden years!
Keep your pet active
Dogs and cats are naturally curious and will often try to explore every nook and cranny of the home. This is a positive behavior, as it helps your pet maintain a healthy body and mind. However, if your pet becomes too active indoors, this can be unhealthy for both you and your pet.
Excessive house training, frequent trips to the vet, and constant sniffling can all be symptoms of too much indoor activity. When you have a senior pet, you should keep them out of the house as much as possible. A dog or cat that has access to a large amount of space will thrive on the exercise, while a pet that spends all of her time indoors becomes bored and anxious.
Feed a premium brand dry food
Grain-free diets have become all the rage among pet owners looking to promote a healthy diet for their dog and cat. However, as we age, dogs and cats are increasingly likely to develop specific issues related to transitioning to a grain-free diet. In addition, these cats and dogs may be more prone to issues like diabetes, which grain-free diets may exacerbate. Instead, consider switching your pet to a high-quality, grain-free dry dog food.
Consider switching your cat to a high-quality, grain-free canned cat food. Premium dry dog foods are often higher in protein and lower in fat than other dry foods so that they are easier to digest. Low-fat dry foods are often higher in carbs and fats, which can make them harder to digest. Premium dry dog foods also tend to have more vitamins and minerals than bargain-priced brands.
Get your pet their daily dose of CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol. This compound has received a lot of attention recently for its potential therapeutic benefits. However, the focus on CBD can sometimes overshadow some of the other compounds found in hemp, including CBG, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Many of these compounds have been studied in conjunction with one another, meaning they may have synergistic effects.
For example, what is known about the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may be enhanced by the presence of CBG in hemp. There are many natural sources of CBD, including hemp, but it may be best to provide your pet with a daily dose in the form of CBD oil.
Screen for diabetes early on
Diabetes is a common condition that affects up to 7% of dogs and 10% of cats over the age of 6. Unfortunately, the signs of diabetes in older pets are often similar to those seen in younger pets and are often misdiagnosed. Excessive thirst and urination are two common signs of diabetes in older pets that can be mistaken for other conditions.
Screening for diabetes in older pets is important because it can be very difficult to manage the condition in advanced stages, particularly if your pet is not yet showing any signs of diabetes. Early detection and treatment can prevent many health issues that come with diabetes, including kidney disease, eye issues, heart disease, and Amylase & Lipase blood test kits are the best way to screen for diabetes in your pet.
You should also keep in mind that insulin can be harmful in pets if it is administered incorrectly, so be sure to follow the directions on the bottle when administering the insulin pen.
Don’t forget to provide fresh air & sunlight
As we age, our bodies become less able to regulate our internal temperature. This can lead to decreased mobility and an increased risk of infection. If your senior pet lives indoors most of the time, make sure to provide her with fresh air and sunlight. While fresh air can be a challenge in a house, an outdoor enclosure can help your pet stay active and happy.
Sunny, warm days are also an important part of a healthy diet. Vitamin D is essential for regulating your pet’s metabolism and keeping them healthy. Vitamin D is often added to dog and cat foods, but it is also found in a few other foods, like fortified milk and eggs. A supplement may be appropriate for your pet if she lives indoors most of the time.
Stay aware of the environment your pet lives in
The environment is important for both healthy development and overall happiness. If possible, try to keep your senior pet’s living environment as similar to her lifestyle prior to age as possible, including her diet and daily routine. This can help ease any adjustments to her new living situation.
While it’s important to keep your senior pet’s living environment as similar as possible to what it was prior to age, it’s also important to keep your pet safe. A Senior Pet Insurance policy is a great way to help protect your pet in case of a serious medical event. It can help cover your pet if they’re injured in an accident or if they contract a serious illness.
Ultimately, the best way to keep your senior pet happy and healthy is to get involved with your pet’s health care. Talk to your veterinarian, follow their recommendations, and keep a food diary to track any signs of illness or pain. Preventative care is generally much easier and more cost-effective than treating disease once it has already taken hold.
When it comes down to it, your senior pet needs the same care as any pet, regardless of age. From regular physical examinations to preventative vaccines, your pet will benefit from the same level of care as always. If you follow these tips, your senior pet can enjoy many years of health and happiness.