by Tyler Evans
Once pets reach a certain age, they start to need a deeper level of care in order to live a healthy and enjoyable life. Some of the most common signs of aging include a gradual loss of mobility, hearing, and sight, as well as more susceptibility to diseases. The age at which this occurs depends on factors such as breed, genetic makeup, and nutrition, among others.
For instance, an English mastiff might be considered senior by age five or six, while a dachshund typically begins their golden years at about 10- or 11-years-old. In general, cats are considered to be seniors by age 11, though some can show signs as early as seven-years-old.
No matter what kind of senior pet you have, there are changes you will need to make so that you can help them thrive in everyday life. Let’s take a look at some practical ways you can care for your older pet.
Keep a lookout for signs of aging.
The most important thing about caring for a senior pet is keeping an eye on them in everyday life. No, your dog or cat can’t tell you with words when they hurt, but they will let you know through verbal cues. For instance, dogs oftentimes whimper, whine, yelp, or howl when they experience pain. When cats are in pain, they can become increasingly irritable when approached or meow or purr more than normal. Just watch out for cues like these so that you can know if you need to take extra steps to care for them.
Take them for checkups twice a year.
It’s also essential to take your aging pet to the vet more often. Rather than the annual checkup that younger pets normally go to, take your senior pet in twice a year. This way, you can stay in front of medical issues and get advice from the vet on any changes you need to make to your pet’s lifestyle. This can also help you to avoid unexpected, costly medical bills.
Get them the right supplies.
You may need to get special supplies to keep your pet comfortable and healthy in their golden years. This could include anything from raised bowls to heated beds to lifting harnesses. A lot of these items can be found at stores like Kohl’s and Walmart for reasonable prices. And by using Kohls coupon codes and finding cashback opportunities, you can score even deeper savings.
Assess their nutritional needs.
Because older pets don’t have the energy they once did, they’re more prone to obesity. This means that you will likely need to make a change in their diet to prevent weight gain, which can lead to a slew of other health issues. Consult your vet about dietary recommendations. Typically, a food with fewer calories or food specifically designed for senior pets is a safe bet.
Keep them active.
Though your senior pet may not be able to move like they once did, exercise remains a critical part of keeping them healthy. Take your pet for regular walks (or jogs if they are able). Keep in mind that they might not be able to go for multiple 30-minute runs each day; stay patient, don’t overwork them, and keep an eye out for signs of tiring.
Pets require a little more attention as they get on in years. Remember to watch for signs of aging through verbal cues, and take them to the vet at least twice a year. Also, consider any supplies or equipment that can help maintain your pet’s well-being, and use discount opportunities to save big. Finally, adjust their diet as needed and be sure to exercise them each day.