aging cat

Growing old gracefully is something most of us aspire to, and we want the same for our pets. The aging process, while not a disease itself, comes with inherent risks, not to mention the effects of wear and tear on the body. This is why preventive medicine is important in keeping your furry one healthy, no matter what their age.

Your friends at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center are here to give you some insight into why senior pet care should be a priority for the best life for your fur friend.

Senior Pet Wellness Examinations

No matter what age group your pet falls in, preventative wellness care is a must. It focuses on maintaining good health to prevent disease and monitoring changes to catch problems early. Senior pet wellness goes a step beyond what an adult’s needs are to more closely monitor changes to the physical and mental health. 

Older pets experience more health issues than their younger counterparts. As the body ages, certain problems are more likely to pop up such as arthritis and dental disease. Systemic diseases like kidney disease are also diagnosed more frequently in senior pets.

During a senior pet examination, we look for changes in the endocrine system, cardiovascular health, liver and kidney function. We also assess your pet’s dental health (older pets often have some form of periodontal disease) as well as check for changes to vision and hearing. Many pets have the onset of arthritis or changes to mobility, along with neurological changes that affect cognition.

This thorough biannual senior wellness exam anayzes your pet’s overall health through diagnostic testing like lab work, x-rays, urinalysis, and so on.

Keeping Your Pet Vibrant Through At Home Senior Pet Care

Along with consistent veterinary checkups, there are many things you can do to encourage better health for your best friend. 

  • Feed your pet the correct portion and limit the number of treats you give to maintain healthy weight.
  • Consider switching your pet to a senior diet. Consult your veterinarian for some suggestions.
  • Keep your pet’s teeth healthy and clean through regular tooth brushing using a brush and paste formulated for their species (never your own toothpaste, which is toxic to animals).
  • Some older pets deal with a decline in cognition or eyesight and hearing. Make sure to keep their bed, feeding station, litterbox, etc. in the same place that is easily accessible (without climbing steps).
  • Mental enrichment is a great way to keep your pet’s sharp and active. Opt for some treat dispensing puzzles and challenging games.
  • Exercise your pet by going on daily walks or other low impact forms of exercise.

Would you like more suggestions on excellent senior pet care? Please call us. We look forward to seeing you and your senior sweetie at their next wellness appointment.