CARING FOR OLDER PETS
On average dogs live
for around 12 years , although many
live much longer. And cats can live
between 12 and 20 years.
Older pets may need more rest, somewhere
quiet and warm with a soft cosy bed
away from draughts.
They may need to go to the toilet
more frequently. Incontinence or changes
in toilet habits should be discussed
with the vet as there are several
treatments that can help.
Make sure everything
for your pet is more accessible so
they don't have to go too far to find
their water, food, toys and bed etc.
Smooth slippery floors
can be difficult for older pets with
arthritis or weaker limbs so you may
need to put a rug or carpet down to
give them grip.
As pets get older their
dietary requirements will change.
It varies with breed and size but
at around 7 or 8 years old it may
be advisable to change your pets diet
to a senior diet, which will factor
in calorie intake etc.
Monitor how much your pet is eating
and drinking - again discuss any changes
with the vet as this could indicate
an underlying medical issue - take
your pet for regular weigh ins to
avoid obesity or drastic weight loss.
Although older pets need more rest
they still do need regular exercise
to keep their limbs moving and for
mental stimulation - little and often
As they get older they may appreciate
a warm coat when the temperature drops
as they find it harder to regulate
Gentle grooming gives
you an excellent chance to check for
lumps and bumps or changes in your
pets coat or skin.
If your pet starts to
show symptoms of stiffness then discuss
with your vet - there are several
products that can make your pet more
comfy and pain free.
Older pets may have
poor hearing or sight so try to avoid
loud or sudden noises. Also try not
to move your furniture around - pets
can cope very well with poor sight
as long as their surroundings don't
Older pets may need their nails trimming
more often due to less exercise.
A lot of people put different behaviours
down to 'old age' - but generally
it is a sign of an underlying medical
problem which could be resolved or
helped by medical treatment so always
discuss any changes with your pet
so we can keep them as comfortable
and pain free as possible.