5 Tips to Help Your Pet Thrive in Their Golden Years
By Nick Burton
Aging is part of life for our furry companions. As our pets age, they become more susceptible to diseases, their mobility is limited, and many experience loss of sight and hearing, among other side effects. Nonetheless, senior pets can live a happy and healthy life in their later years, as long as their owners care for them and make necessary changes to their lifestyle. If your pet has reached their golden years, following these five tips will help them to thrive for years to come.
Make Sure You Have a Great Veterinarian
First things first: If you don’t have a veterinarian you trust, find a new one. You will be going to check-ups at least twice a year when your pet is a senior, and you want to make sure you stay up-to-date on your pet’s overall health assessments and out in front of any potential diseases or other health issues. Also, make sure your veterinarian is available to talk on the phone (or call you back) to give advice even when you don’t have an appointment scheduled.
Revisit Their Diet
As pets age, they will be less active. This means they need fewer calories in their diet. If they continue to eat the same amounts of the same food as their energy levels drop, they will gain weight, which opens them up to obesity, joint problems, and a host of other issues. Consult your veterinarian about a balanced diet that will work best for your pet.
Ask About Supplements
Your pet may also need supplements with their diets. For instance, chondroitin and glucosamine can help keep joints strong, and antioxidants can benefit cognition and memory. Also, CBD oil can help your pet thrive in their golden years, as it has been known to relieve inflammation and joint pain, skin issues, and anxiety. For ideas, check out this buyers guide for a detailed list of the top 10 oils of 2019. Your veterinarian can recommend any necessary additions to your pet’s diet, as well as inform you of any products or foods that could potentially harm your pet.
Keep Them Moving
Another thing to consider is your pet’s exercise routine. It’s important for them to maintain a routine because it helps to keep them lean and healthy, but you will probably need to modify their activities. For example, if you used to sprint with your pet in the backyard, you may now need to opt for walks in the park or supervised swimming. Also, be sure to monitor your pet during exercise so that they don’t overexert themselves.
To ensure your pet is comfortable and safe in their later years, you will likely need to make additions and changes to your home that accommodate their limited mobility, joint issues (i.e., arthritis), loss of sight or hearing, and so on. For example, a portable pet ramp can help your pet safely get in and out of the car and on and off the sofa. Non-slip mats provide traction throughout the home for your pet as they walk, and moving their food and water bowls downstairs if they aren’t already will cut out the need for them to travel the stairs.
Making simple changes to your senior pet’s lifestyle can help them thrive for many years to come. If you don’t have a great veterinarian, find one immediately. Speak with your veterinarian about changing your pet’s diet and adding supplements. Make sure your pet is getting supervised exercise, and make any necessary accommodations at home for them to be safe and comfortable. Seeing your pet healthy and happy will surely be worth any extra effort!
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