If you have an aging pet, there are some things you should be aware of in order to ensure good overall health. Our friends over at Animal Medical Center of Chandler, including new veterinarian Dr. Gabriela Durig, provided some helpful tips when caring for your senior pet:
- Did you know your pet enters their senior years at age 7? Routine wellness exams become even more important as your pet enters their senior years. These exams should be performed every 6 months to allow your veterinarian to identify potential health issues earlier.
- Early disease detection is key for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease and cancer, which can go unnoticed in the early stages. This is why preventive care is extremely important in all pets, especially senior pets.
- It is important to note changes in your pet. Let your veterinarian know if you’ve noticed changes in your pet’s weight, appetite, elimination, skin and coat, mobility or behavior. These changes could be early signs of illness or disease.
- Dietary requirements change as your pet ages. Some senior pets become less active as they age, reducing their calorie requirements. Others may need additional calories if they have difficulty holding their weight. It is important to perform a nutritional assessment to ensure your pet is meeting their nutritional requirements. Specially formulated diets for senior pets are available, as well as prescription diets for specific health conditions.
- Modifications can be made to your pet’s living arrangements to improve their quality of life as they age. For cats, lowering a side of their litter box or modifying an existing box will allow them easier access to move in and out of the box. Providing orthopedic beds and blankets will have your canines with mobility issues or arthritis rest easier and soothe aching joints. Raising food bowls allows your pet to eat and drink without having to lower their head, which can irritate arthritis or muscle pain in senior pets.
For more tips, to make an appointment or schedule a tour, call 480.339.0406 or visit AmcofC.com.