Cheers to Good Health: Senior Pet Wellness in the New Year

senior pet wellnessYour senior pet has been with you through good times and bad. They’ve seen you at your best, worst, and everywhere in between. And, they still love and adore you!

The deep connection and satisfying companionship of a senior pet is incomparable, and wanting to give them the absolute best in their golden years is commendable. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take a discerning look at senior pet wellness and implement ways to encourage a great quality of life for your furry friend.

What Makes a Senior a Senior?

Every pet is different, but we generally consider pets to be senior by 7 years of age. While your pet may look and act the same, aging pets are at risk for many of the same ailments that affect older humans, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Dental disease
  • Intestinal difficulties
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cognitive problems
  • Depression

Supporting Senior Pet Wellness

Pets age more rapidly than humans, which is why we generally recommend that senior pets come in for wellness examinations more frequently. By seeing your pet twice per year or more often, we are better able to catch and correct problems as they crop up.

New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Pets

It doesn’t take much to create the ideal environment for a senior pet. The following principles of senior pet wellness are a great place to start as you create a wonderful year for your pet:

  • Eat well – A changing metabolism often means a dietary change is necessary for older pets. Talk with your veterinarian about the right diet and portion size to best support your pet’s wellness.
  • Get plenty of exercise – Senior pets can and should exercise daily to keep joints limber and prevent weight gain. Pay attention to your pet’s energy levels and signs of pain and adjust their activity levels accordingly.
  • Prioritize comfort – Products like raised food and water bowls, orthopedic beds, ramps/stairs, non-slip mats, and easy-access litter boxes can make life much more manageable for a pet with mobility issues.
  • Have fun – Just because your pet is a senior doesn’t mean their zest for life has decreased. Continue to include your pet in as many areas of the family’s daily life as possible, making adjustments for any physical limitations your pet may have.

We love all of our senior patients here at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital. We look forward to walking alongside you as you navigate the meaningful path of senior pet ownership. Please let us know if you have any questions about senior pet wellness or how we can support you in caring for your pet!