Senior Pets Deserve Extra Care
Your aging dog sleeps at your feet and your mature cat knows the right moment to rub up against you and purr — no question about it, our senior pets are dear to us. Having been with us for a long time, they are uniquely tuned to our daily routines, emotional ups and downs, and our demanding lifestyles. Keep your senior pet close to you, healthy and strong, for as long as possible with our Senior Pet Program.
This program’s goal is to support longevity, maintain health, and preserve the quality of life of your pet, as well as extend the long-standing bond with you. Palmetto Animal Hospital offers the following recommendations for managing the risks associated with an aging pet:
- Bring your older pet for regular senior check-ups, typically twice a year. An exam may uncover a problem in its earliest stages, when it will be easiest to treat.
- Follow our veterinary recommendations for exercise, medication, and proper diet. Since many “treats” and table foods are high in sodium, you should not offer them or any other supplements unless recommended.
- Balance your pet’s activity level and food intake to avoid excess weight gain. We can recommend a specific exercise regime and food with the proper balance of calories and nutrients to keep the fat off.
- Keep your pet’s living and sleeping areas clean, dry, and warm. If you have several pets, make certain older animals have ample opportunity to eat and drink without competition from younger dogs or cats.
- Check these regularly: the mouth for reddened gums, loose teeth, or unusual swellings; eyes for redness, unusual cloudiness, discomfort, or discharges; and ears for wax build-up, discharges, or unusual odors.
- Thoroughly groom and inspect your older pet regularly to remove hair and debris from the coat and to look for sores, rashes, lumps, parasites, unusual discharges, or other physical changes hidden from view.
- If your pet’s eyesight is impaired, avoid changes at home. Older pets seem to do better when their lives follow a consistent routine.
- Changes in behavior or appearance between visits warrant an immediate call to our office. If your pet has not been spayed or neutered, it may be advisable now.
When you arrive for your pet’s first senior dog or senior cat exam, we will give you our very informative Senior Dog or Senior Cat Packet. Like our Puppy and Kitten Packets, these packets contain information about a whole range of senior pet health issues. The packets include the following:
- Detailed recommendations for your older dog or cat
- An outline of possible health issues unique to your pet
- Answers to your questions about the most common diseases of pet aging
- Discussions of behavioral problems specific to the issues surrounding older pets
- Suggestions for treatment or addressing senior pet issues at home
For more information about caring for your mature pet, read Senior Pet Care from AAHA’s Healthy Pet website.
Enjoy this interesting article, Dogs and Life Span, from WebMD’s Pet Health Center.
Remember: Palmetto Animal Hospital sets no boundaries when it comes to senior pet care!