Just like us, our pets get older. Their age can show itself in the greying of their fur around their muzzles and ears, stiffness in their joints after lying down for long periods of time, and even a change in behavior. As our pets age, their needs change, and so do the ways we have to care for them. This is why it’s important to ensure you continue to offer them the best quality of life.
But this goes further than just taking them to the vet annually. You can do a range of things to keep your pet feeling and acting younger for longer, and here are some tips on how to do just that.
Give Them a Good Diet
As your pet ages, it’s important to think about the food they’re eating. A lot of commercial pet foods are full of fillers and other ingredients that can actually be harmful to your pet. Look for pet food products that are high in protein and fiber and low in calories. You should also make sure they’re getting enough water.
Older pets are more prone to dehydration, so offer them fresh water throughout the day and make sure they always have access to it. If you find they are struggling to reach the water and food dishes on the ground, you might want to consider investing in helpful aids that can support them. An example of this is a raised water bowl for dogs.
You can also talk to your veterinarian about possible supplements that can help your aging pet. For example, omega-3 fatty acids can help with joint pain, and glucosamine and chondroitin can also be helpful for pets with arthritis.
Monitor Their Exercise
Our pets’ energy levels change as they age, and it’s important to make sure they’re getting the right amount of exercise. Too much or too little can both be detrimental to their health.
If your pet is struggling to get up and move around, it might be time to cut back on their exercise. On the other hand, if they seem to have a lot of energy, you might want to consider increasing their exercise. A good way to do this is to take them on shorter walks more often throughout the day.
You should also pay attention to how they’re moving. If they’re limping or seem to be in pain, take them to the vet to see if there’s anything that can be done to help.
Make Their Home More Comfortable
As your pet ages, they might start to struggle with getting around the house. This is especially true for larger pets. To make their life easier, you might want to consider making some changes to your home.
For example, you can add ramps or stairs to help them get on and off the furniture or in and out of the car. You might also want to invest in a pet door so they can go outside whenever they want. And if your pet is having trouble getting up and down the stairs, you can install gates to stop them from going upstairs without your help.
You should also think about their bedding. Older pets often struggle with arthritis, so it’s important to make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep. You might want to consider getting them an orthopedic pet bed; you can ask your vet about this if you would like to buy a specialized bed for your pet.
Communicate with Them
Our pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling, so it’s important to pay attention to any changes in their behavior. This can be anything from sleeping more often to becoming more aggressive. If you notice any changes, take them to the vet to see if there’s anything that can be done.
You should also make sure you’re spending enough time with them. As they get older, they might not be as active as they used to be, but they still need your love and attention. So take the time to cuddle with them, brush their fur, and just spend time with them.
Get Them Company
If your pet is still quite sociable, and you know they like other animals, then you might want to think about getting them a companion. This can help them stay active and can also provide them with emotional support. You should look at how your pet reacts when around other people’s pets, such as at the dog park or when visiting relatives, but also look at your own finances; can you afford another pet?
Also, you should make sure to do your research to find a compatible companion for your pet as some pets will not get along, no matter how much you want them to.
Enjoy Your Time with Them
Our pets bring us so much joy, and it’s important to cherish every moment we have with them. It’s easy to forget they won’t always be by our sides. So make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy your time together. This might mean taking them on more walks, playing with them more often, or just spending more time cuddling.
Whatever you do, just make sure you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime. You might also want to make some memorial items with them; this could be getting an imprint of their paws or taking some photos together.
Our pets are like family, and we want to do everything we can to make sure they’re happy and healthy. As they age, their needs change, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them comfortable.
These are just a few of the ways you can ensure your pet stays healthy as they age. It’s important to remember that every pet is different, so what works for one might not work for another.
But as long as you’re paying attention to your pet and their needs, you’ll be on the right track.