Our pets with their unconditional love become an indispensable part of our lives and as they approach old age, it’s heart-breaking to see them struggle with health issues. It is important to take extra care of our adorable animal companions in their senior years and that includes feeding them the right food with balanced nutrition, making sure they exercise, scheduling regular appointments with vets and giving them required supplements in addition to their diet. (Also read: Mental health benefits of sleeping with your pet)
“From their everlasting love, loyalty, and affection to their constant ability to make us happy, it’s true that pets serve us greatly throughout their lives. Hence, it’s important that we look after them and take extra care of them during their senior years. Every pet owner’s path includes caring for senior pets, and as our pets become older and mature, so do their needs and necessities,” says Devanshi Shah, Founder and CEO PetKonnect.
When do cats and dogs grow old
Cats are typically regarded as ‘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 senior by the time they are 7 to 10 years old, while larger breeds, such Great Danes, are considered senior by the time they are around 6 years old. This is due to the fact that larger dogs often age more quickly than their small breed counterparts due to their shorter life spans.
Tips to improve your senior pet’s quality of life by Shah:
1. Give them the right nutrition: All pets should receive the best nutrition possible throughout their lives, but senior pets require extra care. It is possible for older pets to have certain health issues, which may also have an impact on the foods they should and shouldn’t be eating. Make sure that you are giving them the right food and consult your veterinarian about the best food for your pet if it suffers from a particular condition.
2. Make sure your senior pet leads a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically: Making sure your dog exercises regularly can help promote healthy ageing and reduce chronic symptoms, enabling them to interact with other dogs and explore their surroundings. Additionally, cerebral activity should be encouraging and training activities should be scheduled for them. Play games with treats as prizes if they are food-motivated.
3. Visit the vet more frequently: The majority of people are used to take their pet to the vet once a year, but as pets get older, their risks of developing cancer, arthritis, and other health problems rise. Additionally, signals of pain are sometimes overlooked in pets, and they age faster than people. Pets are frequently modest about changes in their health. Elderly pets are especially in need of frequent vet examinations as they are more vulnerable to diseases and are also more likely to have dental issues.
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 body parts. This is particularly true for senior pets that require different additional nutrients due to various health issues. For instance, omega fatty acid supplements are beneficial for pets with skin or joint conditions, and cranberry-infused supplements may be beneficial for pets with urinary problems. Inquire with your veterinarian about your pet’s particular needs and whether there are any supplements you can give them to maintain them in top condition.
Even though aging is a natural part of life, it is never pleasant to watch our pets getting older. It is more essential than ever to make the most of our furry 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 of that and much more.
Follow more stories on Facebook & Twitter