Is your pet getting old? Here are ways to care for your senior pet

OUR pets with their unconditional love, they become an indispensable part of our lives and as they approach old age, it is heartbreaking to see them struggle with health problems. It is important to take additional care of our adorable animal companions in their senior years and that involves giving them the right food with a balanced diet, making sure they get exercise, scheduling regular appointments with veterinarians and their give necessary supplements in addition to their diet. (Also read: Mental Health Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet)

Ensuring your dog gets regular exercise can help promote healthy aging (Pixabay)

“From their undying love, loyalty and affection to their constant ability to make us happy, it’s true that pets serve us greatly throughout their lives. So it’s important that we take care of them them and take better care of them in their later years. Every pet owner’s journey includes caring for older pets, and as our pets age and mature, their needs and necessities evolve as well,” says Devanshi Shah, founder and CEO of PetKonnect.

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When do cats and dogs get old?

Cats are generally considered “senior” at the age of 11, while for dogs it depends on their size. The American Kennel Club states that smaller breeds like Chihuahuas are considered seniors when they are between 7 and 10 years old, while larger breeds, like Great Danes, are considered seniors around 6 years. This is because large dogs often age more quickly than their small breed counterparts due to their shorter lifespans.

Tips to Improve Your Senior Pet’s Quality of Life from Shah:

1. Give them good nutrition: All pets should receive the best nutrition possible throughout their lives, but older pets require additional care. Older pets may have certain health issues, which may also impact what foods they should or should not eat. Make sure you feed them the right food and consult your veterinarian about the best food for your pet if he has a particular illness.

2. Make sure your senior pet leads a healthy life, both mentally and physically: Ensuring your dog gets regular exercise can help promote healthy aging and reduce chronic symptoms, allowing him to interact with other dogs and explore their environment. Additionally, brain activity should be encouraged and training activities should be scheduled for them. Play games with treats as prizes if they are food motivated.

3. Visit the veterinarian more frequently: The majority of people are accustomed to taking their pets to the veterinarian once a year, but as pets age, their chances of developing cancer, arthritis, and other health problems increase. Additionally, pain signals are sometimes overlooked in pets and they age faster than humans. Pets are often modest about changes in their health. Older pets especially need frequent veterinary checkups because they are more vulnerable to illness and are also more likely to have dental problems.

4. Use supplements if necessary: Supplements can improve the nutritional value of a pet’s diet and help with the development and maintenance of many different parts of the body. This is especially true for older pets who need different additional nutrients due to various health issues. For example, omega fatty acid supplements are beneficial for pets with skin or joint problems, and cranberry-infused supplements may be beneficial for pets with urinary problems. Ask your veterinarian about your pet’s specific needs and if there are any supplements you can give to keep him in tip-top condition.

Although aging is a natural part of life, it is never pleasant to watch our pets age. It is more essential than ever to make the most of our four-legged best friends and spend quality time with them. So, spend time with them, take care of them and cherish them forever because they deserve all this and more.

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