The Vintage Advantage. Looking after Senior Pets

Mar 12, 2021

29 again? 40 is the new 30? Not old just vintage? Humans are renown for denying their age, but did you know that dogs and cats age around seven times faster than humans? Unfortunately for pets, the undeniable label of ‘Senior’ is bestowed upon them once they turn 8 – or is that 56?

As owners of a more mature fur companion, we need to be sensitive to their changing needs as they age to ensure their years ahead are indeed golden. A little slower to get out of bed? Not as much sprint up and down the stairs? Not so keen on that daily walk? Keeping watch on changes to your pet’s agility and mobility is important as they age. Arthritis is a common ailment in ageing bodies, 2 legged or 4, causing pain and discomfort in the joints. Whilst it is normal for older pets to be a little less active, if you sense that movement is getting trickier for your pet, we can advise on the best management plan to keep them active and pain free.

Just like us, your pets’ metabolism will slow down as they age, and especially if they are not as active as they once were. Once on the lips will more likely be twice on the hips as they say. Nutritional adjustment (sounds better than dieting right?) to balance energy input with output, and appropriate nutrient supply will help your fur senior maintain a healthy body weight. A well-balanced diet is essentially at every age and stage, and we can help with specific dietary advice as your pet ages. Keep an eye out for any changes to appetite, thirst, or overall weight though, and notify us as soon as you feel something is not right.

Any focus on nutrition must be accompanied by a focus on dental hygiene also. Appetite or weight changes in your pet could be attributed to those pearly whites also getting a bit long in the tooth. Older animals have a higher risk of gum disease and tartar build-up, so regular dental check-ups are a must. If in-home brushing, chew toys, or dental food are not bringing a smile to your pet’s dial, we can also help with professional dental cleaning and get those choppers in tip top shape.

And let’s not see our pet’s beauty regime slide due to a few more birthdays either. Regular grooming will help keep your pet’s coat healthy, even if a more distinguished greying is starting to appear. Grooming sessions are also a great way to spend quality time bonding with your furry family member and to do a bit of a skin check. Lumps and bumps on or under the skin can increase in prevalence in senior pets, just like us humans. A good grooming session can be a great opportunity for a bit of a furry body scan for anything that feels new, or just not right. If you do feel anything unusual, get it checked by your vet as soon as possible.

With the right approach, a little extra patience and care, your senior pet can have their best years ahead of them. Remember your Vet is your partner in your pet’s retirement years, and it is recommended to increase Vet visits for senior pets to twice yearly. This gives us all the best opportunity to monitor how your pet is ageing, act early on any concerns, and discuss any modifications needed to ensure your pet is living their best life.