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Home > Health & behaviour > Senior pet care

Senior pet care

Just like humans, our four-legged friends need a little extra TLC as they start to get older. A nutritious diet, gentle exercise regime and regular vet visits will help keep your pet happy and healthy during its twilight years.

We all slow down as we get older, so it is important that you are sensitive to what your senior pet is experiencing as it matures. Taking care of an older pet may require a little extra patience, but that is what makes the experience so rewarding.

Above all else, it is your devotion, commitment and a big dose of TLC that will make your pet's retirement years the very best!
        


                                                            

          
           
Diet & nutrition
  Enrichment & exercise
  Health
 

Diet and nutrition

                                               
A well-balanced diet is essential at any stage of an animal’s life, and it becomes even more important as your pet begins to age. Older animals often have specific nutritional requirements and may benefit from specially formulated food.

Senior pets are also generally less active than their younger counterparts and have a slower metabolism rate, so high-nutrient foods are very important.

                  

 

Enrichment and exercise

                                               
When your pet becomes a senior citizen, it certainly does not mean the fun days are over and your pet will become a couch potato! Senior pets are still full of life and enjoy taking part in daily activities. Daily physical and mental stimulation are essential in keeping your senior pet happy and healthy.

Physical activity is particularly important, as it can help address two common health problems in senior pets; arthritis and obesity. Gentle exercise is a great way to keep your senior pet in shape. However, it is important that your pet avoids any jarring movements, as this can cause joint problems.

                                        
                                 

Health

                       
Vet visits
Regular vet check-ups are vital to keep your senior pet looking and feeling its best. As well as keeping on top of annual vaccinations, it is a good idea to talk to your vet about special examinations your pet may need. If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your pet, be sure to raise these with your vet.

Arthritis
Arthritis affects cats and dogs in the same way that it affects humans, causing pain and discomfort in the joints. If you notice your pet is having difficulty sitting, standing, or making other movements, is reluctant to climb or use stairs, or seems disinterested in play and physical activity, these could be warning signs that your pet is developing arthritis. If you suspect your pet may have arthritis, you should consult your vet, who will be able to investigate further and help develop a health and exercise plan tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

Dental health
Keep those pearly whites shining! Older animals have a higher risk of gum disease and tartar build-up, so regular dental check-ups are a must. You can keep your pet’s teeth and gums in good shape with regular at-home brushing, safe chew toys, dental treats and high-quality food. It may also be worth considering professional dental cleaning if your pet’s teeth and gums are not looking their healthiest.

Grooming
Getting older is no reason to quit the beauty regime! Regular grooming will help keep your pet’s coat healthy, matt-free and looking its best. Grooming sessions are also a great way to spend quality time bonding with your furry family member.


                       


 
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