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Top Tips on How to Care for Senior Pets

With time, you will start to notice certain subtle changes in your pet. For example, your once energetic pet friend will stop jumping after his or her tennis ball with vigor. If you used to have vigorous walks with him or her, those walks will turn into leisurely strolls. Such signs mean that he or she is a senior pet. Therefore, you will need to make several pet care changes.

Fortunately, caring for a senior pet is not as difficult as it may sound. Some of the top care tips for your senior pet include:

Watch Your Pet’s Waistline

Many pet owners do not know that they need to watch their pets’ weight. However, pets that are overweight tend to have a shorter life span. If your dog is obese, for instance, his or her life span will reduce by up to two years. This is because fat cells produce cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins that increase the risk of heart disease, joint disease, and endocrine issues in pets.

If you think your pet is obese, your vet will calculate his or her body condition score and give you recommendations on how to get your furry friend to a healthy weight.

Regular Visits to the Vet

As your pet grows older, it is important for you to take him or her to the vet more frequently. If you have a senior cat or dog, take him or her to the vet at least twice a year. The vet will determine your pet’s baseline health through blood work, examinations, and dental care. This will play an important part when it comes to early detection and treatment of health problems before they become more serious.

Keep Your Pet Active

Exercise will keep your senior pet’s muscles lean and strong. In addition, it will help prevent a wide range of behavioral problems, such as barking, digging, and chewing furniture. Furthermore, exercise will support your pet’s aging process by easing chronic symptoms. This will allow him or her to explore his or her environment and be social.

Watch Your Pet’s Diet

Senior pets often have certain food issues, such as obesity, chewing, and lack of appetite. In addition, they require foods with lower calories. Therefore, as your pet continues to mature, tweak his or her diet to maintain his or her healthy weight and muscle mass. Watching your pet’s diet will also help keep his or her immune system functioning optimally. In addition, if your senior pet is suffering from joint issues, he or she will benefit from certain dietary supplements, such as fish oil and glucosamine.

Maintain Your Pet’s Good Oral Health

As your four-legged friend ages, you will need to pay increased attention to his or her oral and dental care. Pain and tooth loss associated with certain oral diseases can make it extremely difficult for pets to chew. Therefore, you may want to start brushing your animal friend’s teeth daily. If he or she is unable to tolerate the brushing of his or her teeth, purchase dental toys, or dental treats. Regular dental cleaning will also benefit your pet.

There are many good reasons to learn about top senior pet care tips. Most importantly, taking good care of your senior pet will keep him or her healthy and comfortable in his or her later years. It will also save you money at the veterinary’s office.

At Santa Monica Pet Medical Center, we believe that every pet deserves excellent treatment. To book an appointment, call (310) 393-8218. You can also visit our offices in Santa Monica, California.

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