Time flies when you are having fun! But when your pets get older, the idea of fun changes with that. Perhaps there are less walks in park or less running around in the house. This is usually the norm when it comes to aging dogs and cats. However, it doesn’t have to be.
Just like people, dogs and cats get similar health issues with age, but also just like people, if we take care of our body, it serves us better. Since we are the ones to take care of our pets’ health, listen up – 5 things you can do for your pet to stay healthy as they age.
1. Hip and joint problems
Yes, our pets experience the same common hip and joint problems as we, humans, do. Whether is arthritis or seasonal joint aches – pay attention, so you know how to help your dog or cat.
Almost 50% of dogs (and 75% of large breed dogs) will have arthritis or joint problems pain during their lifetime. A 9 year old dog of any breed will need your attention to help move freely without pain. Notice signs like limping, refusal to climb stairs, keeping one leg lifted off the ground and reduced enthusiasm for physical activity.
In the past, arthritis in cats was not commonly diagnosed or treated. This may be due in part to the cats’ survival instinct to hide signs of pain and the lack of recognition of the condition by owners and vets. 90% of cats over 12 showed evidence of joint problems. Notice signs like reduced mobility, temperament changes and lapsed litter box habits (due to pain caused by getting in and out of the box).
Opt for natural supplements to help your senior dog or cat move freely. Our Hip and Joints supplement can alleviate pain and reduce fever and inflammation that is associated with arthritis or joint problems.
In addition to mixing these herbal supplements in their regular food and water intake, keep their bed soft and keep the room temperature comfortable. Try to include ramps to their favourite places so they jump less.
2. Re-think their diet
Feeding your dog or cat the proper nutrition in their senior years is critical to keeping well-nourished. A lot of things which they gobbled up as youngsters might not suit them any more. Weaker teeth can make chewing a hassle. If you haven’t changed their diet in a while, you may want to consult your vet to see if a change is required.
Diet tip for senior cats:
Cats often avoid water which can lead to various diseases in the long term. You will have to consciously include wet food in your cat’s diet and keep several bowls of water out around the house. Since they will be moving less when they are older, due to potential joint problems, make sure they have easy access to water in their favourite spots.
Diet tip for senior dogs:
Dogs tend to gain weight as they get older if they are less active, talk with your vet about the type of diet your dog needs, if this is the case. Remember, weight and old age are included in the risk factors for dog arthritis. Your vet can make recommendations about quality brands, ingredients or special formulas your senior dog needs to thrive.
3. Dental hygiene
Did you know that dental is the root cause of most liver-related diseases in dogs and cats? Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors. To have significant benefit, home tooth care needs to start when the pet is young – before changes are severe. A great way to contribute to your senior pet’s good health is to keep her teeth and gums in tip top shape with regular at-home brushing or professional cleanings by your vet. As they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…. So it will be challenging to introduce a new habit to an older pet. Talk to your vet about the options at your next vet check up. Read our post about the perfect holistic routine to keep your pet healthy.
On top of everything, shower them with extra love and affection. Don’t forget, love is a choice you make every day.