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Senior Pet Care Guide

You know, as a pet owner, that keeping your pet healthy requires dedication and attention. Make sure your pet is the healthiest he/she can be by scheduling routine check-ups with a qualified vet. As your pet gets older, this becomes even more critical as you notice changes in appearance and behavior. You may see these changes slowly over time or suddenly depending on both your pet and his/her age. A proper diet is one of the most important factors for keeping your aging pet healthy.

Common Health Issues for Older Pets Include:

Arthritis Pain
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.

Bad Breath,Bleeding Gums
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.

Sudden Blindness, Hearing Loss, Head Tilt/Staggering
These signs can be seen with a variety of causes: infection, poisoning, age-related, cancer, etc. Some pets can develop cataracts in just a few days, with sudden-onset diabetes.

Change in Urine & Thirst
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 ďaccidents ĒĚ also signal problems; either with infection, loss of sphincter control, or other underlying disease.

Cognitive Dysfunction
Pets, like people, can experience age-related dementia. Treatments are available that may help some pets such as Denosyl, Zentonil, and Senilife.

Skin Changes
The skin often thickens and darkens with age.

As the body ages, the immune system weakens, making it harder for the pets to ward off infections. Use Anti-oxidants and Immuno-stimulants to help you pet lead a longer, healthier life.

Extra Care Advice for Owners of Elderly Dogs

  • 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.
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    Senior Pet Care Guide