4 Practical Ways You Can Care for Your Senior Cat or Dog

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As our pets age, we all look for ways to make their senior years healthy and enjoyable. Our guest blogger this month is Nick Burton. Nick and his wife are the proud parents of three rescue dogs. Check out his website https://ourbestdoggo.com/

Caring for a senior pet takes a very special heart, but it also takes the right health and wellness tips. Deteriorating health can be just as much of a concern for aging pets as it is for aging people. If you have senior pets, here are a few simple steps you can take to keep them healthy.

Pick a Food That Supports Your Senior Pet’s Health 

Healthy, high-quality food will keep your aging dog or cat feeling their best and give you more time to spend with your best friend. Organic cat food can be a perfect option for your aging feline, so you can be sure that their food is clean, healthy, and free of potentially harmful chemicals. For both senior cats and dogs, the right food can also help with common senior health problems. Most older pets tend to slow down and become less active as they age, so you may need to switch to a lower calorie diet to keep your senior pet at a healthy weight. Obesity can shorten your senior pet’s life and make other health concerns worse, so work with your vet to maintain your dog or cat’s weight. Life’s Abundance offers a wide variety of pet food for both cats and dogs that is holistically balanced, and provides the nutrition that’s necessary to help your canine or feline achieve and maintain optimal health. In particular, the Adult Weight Loss Food can help your dog regain vitality with L-Carnitine to help utilize body fat

Address Arthritis and Other Common Senior Pet Concerns

Weight management is not the only concern that senior pet parents have to face. Arthritis is a prevalent senior pet problem that can affect dogs and cats alike. If formerly active cats are hesitant to jump and play, or if your pet seems grumpy, they may be dealing with pain from arthritis. If you notice arthritic symptoms in your senior pet, your first step should be to set up an appointment with your vet to rule out injuries or more serious health issues. For senior dogs, relieving chronic arthritis may involve pain medications provided by your vet, but you should also consider adding joint-healthy supplements to your pet’s diet. Glucosamine and chondroitin are go-to choices for helping senior pets live comfortably.  Another supplement to consider are sea mussels which also contain Chondroitin Sulfate. This works together to keep cartilage strong and flexible to better cushion joints. A supplement for both cats and dogs, Agility, can be found here.

Since animals are pretty good at hiding pain, you need to listen closely for warning signs. Pay attention to continuous meowing or purring from your cat, as well as growling or hissing when approached. Dogs may whine, yelp, howl, whimper, or grunt when they’re in pain. Again, call your vet if you notice any of these verbal cues.

Help Your Senior Pet Stay Active to Stay Happy and Healthy 

Another easy way to ease arthritis pain and elevate your senior pet’s health is to make sure he/she gets plenty of exercise. Just as in humans, regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy joints, preserving brain function, and managing healthy body weight. Working out senior dogs can be as simple as taking a few extra minutes to play together each day or enrolling your older pup in a specialty swimming class. Swimming can be such a soothing work out for aging dogs and is a good alternative when long walks seem too painful. If you need to exercise your senior cat, you may need to get creative with a laser pointer or cat tower. Catnip can also get your senior cat going, but be aware of any catnip-related aggression or anxiety. 

Find Ways to Keep Your Senior Pet’s Teeth in Top Shape 

For pets of all ages, oral health is essential. Your vet has likely shared the importance of pet dental health with you, and that is because the health of your pet’s teeth is connected to other aspects of their physical health and well-being. Plus, your senior pet could be dealing with mouth pain that can decrease their quality of life. Brushing your dog’s teeth is a good start to preserving oral health, but you should also speak with your vet about regular cleanings. Pay special attention to signs of oral health issues, such as bad breath, that can indicate a potentially life-threatening infection.

You should clean your cat’s teeth as well to prevent tooth loss and oral infections from causing pain and discomfort. 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, Author and Veterinarian-on-staff at Life’s Abundance offers some basics on dental care for both cats and dogs.

Your pets are part of your family, so give them the best care as they age. Taking the right steps to care for your older pets can give them a better quality and quantity of life. 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Categories: Blog | Dietary Questions | Happy Tales | Pet Care Tips

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