Senior Pet Care
You’ve probably heard that pets age about seven times faster than humans, but are you doing enough to help your senior pet stay healthy as they age? Pell City Animal Hospital recommends semi-annual exams (twice a year) to accommodate the changes and age-related risks associated with senior pets. It’s also important to take extra steps to care for your senior pet at home and to make adjustments at home. With semi-annual veterinary exams and at-home care, you can help your companion enjoy their golden years.
About the Senior Pet Exam
Senior pets need semi-annual veterinary visits so signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated. Senior pet exams are similar to those for younger pets, but are more in-depth and focused on problems more commonly seen as our pets age including dental disease, vision issues, heart, liver, thyroid or kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis and pain, obesity or weight loss and many others.
A comprehensive lab panel (CBC, biochemistry profile and a urinalysis) at least once a year is very important to help identify internal problems we cannot detect from the physical exam. Diagnostic imaging technology can often be very helpful as well in identifying internal problems.
At-Home Senior Pet Care
Another important component of senior wellness is at-home care. There are several things to consider if you want to help your senior pet live a long, happy, healthy life, including:
- Diet: If your senior pet’s health needs change, their diet may also need to change. Even if their health needs haven’t changed, it’s still important to feed them a healthy diet for general health and weight management.
- Dental care: Dental problems like gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth resorption are more common in older pets, so it’s especially important to keep your senior pet’s teeth and gums healthy.
- Exercise: Just as with humans, senior pets tend to become less naturally active as they age, which can lead to obesity. To prevent this disease, try to keep your pet active by encouraging walks and play.
If you have any questions about caring for your senior pet, or if you need to schedule an appointment at Pell City Animal Hospital, give us a call.