How to Help Your Pet Age Gracefully
Sharing life with your pet is the greatest gift. After a lifetime of snuggles and companionship, it is hard to imagine that they are getting older. It is a cruel twist from the knife of life that we human-kind typically outlive our pets.
They have been there for you and it is time for you to care for them. Here is a brief guide on what to expect and how to make the best of your time left together.
You might notice your pet moving slower and napping longer. They could be suffering from arthritis—commonly from the hips and knees.
Pets are also vulnerable to kidney disease, heart disease, incontinence, and cancer in their later years. Pets can even suffer from a form of dementia. In dogs, it’s called, “Cognitive Canine Dysfunction” or CCD.
It’s hard to know what is going on with your pet. Unfortunately, they cannot tell in a way that you’ll understand. “My hips hurt” will look like hesitation when facing stairs. “I don’t know who you are right now,” can look like aggression and confusion.
How to Help
While you cannot prevent age-related issues, you can make life easier for your pet. Here are some easy ways to help your older pet:
- Keep a notebook meant just for notes about your pet. Log in it like a diary so you can notice changes as they happen.
- Pay attention for weird lumps you’re not used to feeling. Take note of their size so you can let your veterinarian know if they change.
- Schedule biannual wellness visits—senior pets need to see the veterinarian more often.
- Invest in pet insurance. It can help soften the cost of unexpected veterinary needs.
- Find new activities like engaging toys that they can enjoy.
- At home, keep your pet comfortable. Don’t feel guilty spoiling them with anything plush.
- Work with your vet on the diet and treats that are appropriate for older animals.
If you have any questions about your pet’s aging process, please call us at (347) 915-1420 or request an appointment online here. Your team at All Creatures of Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital is here to help you through your pet’s golden years.