Companion Connection

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How to Help Your Senior Pet Navigate Aging

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How to Help Your Senior Pet Navigate Aging


Like us humans, our pets require special care and consideration when they reach their senior years. Getting older isnít easy for anyone! Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to help your senior pet navigate the aging process as smoothly as possible. Paying attention to their changing needs in terms of diet, exercise, veterinary care, and home environment will enable you to adapt your home and life to keep your furry friend comfortable. Here are some tips from Companion Connection to help you care for your senior pet!


Plan for Changes in Behavior


As your pet gets older, you might find that they start having accidents in the house again. This can occur due to any number of age-related physical or mental changes. Thankfully, you can purchase productsólike dog diapers, potty pads, and waterproof furniture coversóto mitigate this issue. This is also a good time to invest in some effective stain and odor remover for your carpets and furniture. If you canít get rid of stains on your own, hire a professional upholstery cleaner to tackle the problem. You can search for reputable cleaners online. On a platform like Angi, you can view their customer reviews to get a feel of their reputation. You can also ask for referrals from previous clients and get a quote before committing to a cleaner.


Visit the Vet Twice Yearly


Because older pets are more prone to illness and have more particular health needs, itís a good idea to visit the vet every 6 months. Regular visits to the vet will enable your veterinarian to monitor your pet for signs of illness or other health issues. The sooner you catch a problem, the easier it will be to treat! Concerned about rising vet care costs in your petís senior years? Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to keep costs manageable. Your Dog Advisor suggests preventive care as the first line of defense against expensive vet bills.


Encourage Low-Impact Exercise


Regular exercise is an incredibly important ingredient in any preventive pet care plan. Older pets need to stay active to keep their muscles strong and their joints limber. If your senior dog is having a hard time engaging in the same forms of exercise theyíve always enjoyed, look for low-impact alternatives. For example, a gentle walk around the block may be better than a fast-paced game of fetch in the backyard. American Kennel Club also recommends swimming as a safe and effective exercise option for older dogs.


Offer a Variety of Mentally Stimulating Activities


Mental activities are also important for your petís ongoing wellbeing. Engaging your petís brain through fun and challenging mental activities will keep them sharp in their senior years. Plus, mental stimulation will help your pet burn off some energy on those days when the weather is bad. Obedience training is a great form of mental exercise for your dog. You can also try teaching your pet new tricks, getting them a puzzle toy, and hiding treats around the house so your dog can sniff them out.


Supplement Your Petís Diet


Senior pets can benefit from some extra nutrients in their diets. Consider switching your pet to a food variety specifically formulated for senior animals. Senior dog food tends to be low in calories and high in fiber and protein. You can also supplement your senior petís diet with vitamins and minerals that will help maintain their health. Omega-3 fatty acids and joint supplements are a good place to start! Just be sure to talk to your vet before giving your pet a new supplement.


If your pet is entering the senior stage of their life, consider making a few adjustments to your care routine to keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable. Regular exercise, good mental stimulation, a healthy diet, and frequent visits to the vet will keep your pet in top shape!


Do you want to support the animals in your community? Consider making a donation to the Companion Connection non-profit animal rescue!