How to adjust to older pets in your home

OlderPets

We all remember the day when we came back home with our new sweet little puppy or kitten! They had so much energy, loved to play, and it was a getting to know each other phase. Over the years, as your pup and kitty grew up well into adulthood, so did your bond. However we must all face the reality that things change over time and we all need to adjust accordingly.

As we get older, so do our loyal pets. They aren’t as playful or energetic as they once used to be and their needs change. Perhaps this could be a welcomed transition, if you prefer a more relaxed home setting. However if you have kids, they may find the changes a little tricky to adapt to. After all their best friend, who’s grown up with them and had many years of good fun, is now slightly different. While your kids are still growing, your dog or cat has already gone through many physical changes in their lives as pets age faster. This is a known fact, so what can we do?

We can only work around the aging process and change our approach to better adapt our pets and family. There are still many things that your special pet can still do and many activities you both can enjoy. Lots of love and affection are certainly a couple of things everyone enjoys!

One thing to consider when your dogs and cats get older is that they may need to go to the vet more often. Healthy young pets need to go to the vet at least once a year while senior pets should go at least twice a year. According to PetMD, “Senior pets are advised to see a veterinarian every six months”. This will ensure that your pets get the best care available which will prolong their lives significantly. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can ensure that your furry friend’s years are one of happiness and relaxation.

Ensuring that all of your pets, both young and old get regular teeth cleanings also improves their quality of life and sets them on the right track to a healthy life ahead. This is especially important when having an elder pet around. Elderly pets are more prone to gum disease which can cause quite a bit of discomfort for them in later years. So monitor their teeth, help them by brushing them if they allow you to. Another alternative may be to buy some dental treats or toys, if they enjoy them, and keep them as healthy as the rest of your family.

Another thing to consider is their mobility. Is your pet favoring a leg/hip or limping? Are they walking less and laying more? If so, make sure they see a vet as previously stated. Older pets tend to have joint issues or can be overweight which makes it difficult for them to move around. Make sure to have plenty of comfortable areas for them to rest in. After all, they deserve it! Talk to your vet about any medications they may need to reduce pain or exercise they can do to lose excess weight if needed. Although they are older they still need their exercise to keep their joints and muscles strong.

You are what you eat, right? Make sure to read over what you are feeding your lovable pals. The food that you have gone with for years could become the wrong food for your special seniors over time. Make sure to read over the ingredients and research what type of foods are best for elderly pets. As with young and adult pet foods, there are also special blends for senior pets to meet their needs. However owners and veterinarians need to evaluate an individual pet’s nutritional needs and pick the best type of food to meet those needs regardless of their age. See what they recommend for your advanced aged friend as they may not always need to transition to different stage food. Natural ingredients are always a way to go especially with sensitive tummies!

We all slow down a little. Pets energy might not be what they used to but they still love us all the same. They still expect us to love, protect and pamper them. Being older is just another stage of life that does not mean better or worse it is simply just a new experience. More memories are still to be made and you will continue to enjoy having a pet who loves you with their whole heart!

Click here for some tips that are vet authored/vet approved on specific care for your senior buddy and all the best for your family!

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valleypetsitting