Living with a senior pet has its challenges, but it is very rewarding. Older pets have their own special magic. You can help make sure your pet lives a long and healthy life by following a few tips from NEK Veterinary Services in Hiawatha, KS.
Nutritional Needs Change
Older cats and dogs often put on weight quickly because they are fed the same as when they were younger. Senior pets have a different metabolism, so they cannot burn the calories like they used to. Talk to your veterinarian about what kind of diet your pet should be eating.
The Importance of Wellness Exams
The older your pet gets, the more physical and mental changes you will notice. Although some senior pets are healthy enough to only see the veterinarian once per year, many will have to see their vets more often. Senior pet care starts with wellness exams to compare how your pet is now to how he or she was doing a few months or years ago. Some medical conditions like heart disease have such gradual symptoms that they are easy for owners to miss, but vets can catch.
Senior Pets Have Trouble Staying Clean
Older pets have trouble with the bending and stretching necessary to maintain personal grooming. Your pet’s once glossy coat may become quickly matted and smelly. Every senior pet care routine should include more grooming and washing under the tail.
Senior Pets Have Lowered Resistance
When they were younger, cats and dogs could shrug off a contagious illness or not be bothered by a few parasites. However, older pets lack this resistance. It’s very important that your senior pet gets regular booster vaccinations and parasite prevention medication. This medication needs to be given year-round since eggs and juvenile parasites can live on through the winter.
Senior Pets Experience Balance Issues
Stiff joints and other problems make it harder for older pets to keep their balance. Older dogs and cats, in particular, will often refuse to walk on a smooth floor, even though they had no problems doing so for years. Lay down a few non-skid mats or even a thick towel so your pet can find secure footing on smooth floors. Also, keep your pet’s nails trimmed so they do not cause your pet to trip.
Contact Us for Senior Pet Care in Hiawatha, KS
We know you are bound to have a few questions about how to best care for your senior pet. If you live in the Hiawatha area, contact NEK Veterinary Services to speak with one of our veterinarians. Call our team today at (785) 742-2147 to schedule an appointment.