How to Care for Your Aging Pets

Paws for Thought.

As our pets get older, their needs and capabilities change. Being a pet parent to a senior animal comes with many challenges, but the efforts you make will make the transition easier for both you and your four-legged family members. While consulting your veterinarian can help you determine the specific needs for your animal’s unique health conditions, these tips will allow you to start making the changes your pet needs.

Dogs

  • Maintain moderate activity levels. Even though your dog may not be light on their feet like when they were a puppy, they should still be kept active.
  • Be proactive about dental care. You can stay on top of your dog’s dental care by monitoring their eating to see if they’re having trouble chewing, regularly brushing their teeth, and scheduling annual cleaning.

Cats

  • Maintain a mentally stimulating environment. Cats need frequent stimulation at all ages. Keeping interactive toys around them will allow their minds to stay sharp and their bodies healthy.
  • Request regular body condition evaluations. Ask your vet to perform body condition evaluations during each visit. This will allow you to determine their overall health and special dietary needs.

Horses

  • Consider your horse’s changing shelter needs. A senior horse may require a good cover and established paddock shelter to shield them from the elements. Keeping them warm during cold months and cool during periods of heat are of equal importance, you don’t want your horse to overheat.
  • Make sure they get moderate exercise. Regular, moderate exercise is good for your horse’s joints and limbs. Not only does it help with mobility, it can benefit their overall health.

Rabbits

  • Monitor their mobility. Arthritis is common in elder rabbits. If you notice they are having trouble getting around, ask your vet about medication that will ease pain and inflammation.
  • You may need to pay extra attention to their feet. Rabbits can develop calluses on their hocks, rubbing Vaseline on them regularly will help keep them soft. They may also need non-slip rugs to prevent them from injuring themselves as their legs may be weaker.

Older Cat-1712
Older Dog-1713
Older Horse-1714