Animal Friends Blog
Whether you’ve rescued an older pet, or your dog or cat are slowly going grey you might need to start adjusting to the needs of an older pet. There will be hints and clues along the way, maybe your dog’s not able to climb up onto the sofa or your cat doesn’t seem to be delivering as many dead gifts as usual.
Whether your dog or cat is already showing their age, or you just want to prepare for the future, we have a few tips and tricks on how to care for an older pet.
Don’t forget about their gnashers
Dental hygiene is important throughout your pet’s life but especially as your pet gets older. Dental disease can be very painful and can lead to weight loss as your pet might start avoiding its meals.
If they’re not keen on getting their teeth brushed, you can always consider dental treats or specialist toys instead.
Watch what they’re eating
A pet’s diet is so important as they get older, if they’re eating too much you might notice the pounds piling on while eating too little might be a sign of illness, so it’s key to keep your eyes peeled.
Your vet will be able to advise whether your pet is the right weight for its age and breed as well as providing advice on diet and calorie intake.
Exercise both body and brain
Dog walks have never been so important to keep the joints young, though an evening run might need to be avoided now.
If your cat lives indoors, or you’ve stopped them from going outside now they’re older then you can still make sure they get the best of both worlds. You could use a cat lead or build a “catio”, so your cat can still enjoy some fresh air.
As well as physical exercise, mental enrichment is an essential part of an ageing pet’s daily routine. From interactive toys to food puzzles, these will help keep your cat or dog sharp.
Adapt to your pet’s changing needs
You might have an older cat that would appreciate a litter box with lower sides or a dog who can’t quite manage the stairs anymore, there are things you can do to make their lives a little easier.
If your cat’s litter box is perched up high and out of the way, bring it to the floor so it’s easier for your cat to reach. If your dog is adamant on following you up the stairs why not walk up the stairs together?
If you’d rather your older dog stay downstairs, you could always place a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. Always make sure your pet has comfortable bedding, somewhere they can feel safe and warm.
Pay attention to any little changes
If you notice any changes in your pet’s behaviour then it might be a good idea to speak to your vet, just in case. From changes in their appetite, starting to limp, or if you’ve found any lumps or bumps, it’s always best to double check with a veterinary expert.
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