The Golden Ages: Helping your pet live a longer, happier life.

December 4, 2017

Puppies and kittens are cute, but there`s something so heartwarming about senior pets. They have been loyal to their adoptive families for many years and the bond they share is so special. We want to help them age gracefully and keep them in your life as long as possible.

On average, a pet is considered a senior citizen at 7 years of age. Giant breed dogs will age faster than toy breeds and cats. The most important thing to keep in mind with any senior pet is that age is not a disease, though your pet may succumb to some age-related problems. Is crucial to inform your vet of any changes in activity, appetite, weight or behaviour immediately. Prevention is key to ensuring your pet has a long and happy life. Unfortunately pets age much faster than we do, which is why routine vet visits will become even more important when your pet enters their senior years. The health of your pet can change rapidly as he or she ages and they may not show it. More frequent visits to the veterinarian and routine blood tests will help to detect problems early, before they become advanced or life threatening. Early detection can help to prevent and minimize suffering.

Nutrition is important at any age, but as our pets age, their nutritional needs change. Most mature animals will require fewer calories. Lower levels of sodium and phosphorous will help maintain a healthy heart and kidneys. Many of our pets’ age-related issues can be managed with a proper diet. Don’t hesitate to ask your Animal health technician which diet would best suit your pet. We would be happy to guide you in transitioning to the best senior food for your pet.

A body in motion stays in motion. As our pets slow down, they may begin to put on excess weight. This excess weight puts a great strain on their aging joints as well as their heart and will put them at greater risk of diabetes. Cutting calories will help to prevent weight gain. However, keeping your pet active will maintain their muscles and range of motion. If you feel your dog is slowing down or looks painful, first talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements like glucosamine and omega-3’s. If needed, take them for shorter but more frequent walks. Avoid high impact exercise such as fetch or jogging and instead go for a slow walk or if possible, a swim. Exercise in water is the best form of exercise for pets at any age. If this is not available to you, ask us about our underwater treadmill.

Together we can help your pet live out their golden years comfortably. Veterinarians recommend that mature pets have a check-up every 6 months (the equivalent of every 3 to 4 years in your pet’s life). Regular vet visits combined with appropriate exercise and nutrition will help keep your companion happy and healthy for many years to come.

Gabrielle, CAHTDog under blanket