|Muscle, bone and cartilage decrease with age. With less cartilage, the bones begin to scrape against one another, causing the pain of arthritis. Many medications are available to help ease the pain and discomfort of joint pain.
||Good dental health is important not only for the teeth and mouth, but for overall health. As your pet ages, tartar, gum disease and tooth loss are all potential problems. Oral cancers, infections, metabolic disease (kidney disease, diabetes mellitus) are also potential causes for bad breath and oral health problems.
|Pets should not drink more water simply because they are aging or the change of season. The most common causes of increased water intake are diabetes and kidney problems. Urine leakage or having ďaccidentsĒ also signal problems; either with infection, loss of sphincter control, or other underlying disease.
||Pets, like people, can experience age-related dementia. Treatments are available that may help some pets such as Denosyl, Zentonil, and Senilife.
|Maintain a calm atmosphere in the home and a regular routine for the pet.
Donít startle, tease or handle the pet roughly.
Always bring the pet indoors on very hot or very cold days.
Be aware of the senior petís changing nutritional needs. A new diet might be necessary.
Continue to provide exercise and activities. Moderate exercise is best, with several short walks during the day rather than one long one. Also continue to stimulate your petís mental agility with gentle games.
Older pets are more sensitive to heat, so avoid exercising them during the hottest part of the day.
Provide a number of warm, soft and quiet resting places for your pet to spend a significant proportion of its time.
Groom your pet regularly using soft brushes and combs. Try to avoid areas where the bones are prominent.
Consider a new animal addition to the family carefully and plan before going ahead. If an old pet appears distressed or lonely following the death of a companion, allow a reasonable period to elapse before considering a replacement. This may be anxiety as a result of change in routine rather than genuine loneliness.
For the very elderly pets, whose world appears to reduce in size the older they get, provide a bed, food, water and litter facilities in reasonable proximity to each other so that they are all easily accessible.