Watching your pet grow old can weigh heavy on your heart, especially if you’ve shared their companionship for many years. Chances are, your furry friend has been by your side through all the highs and lows, so you should show them how much they mean to you by showering them with love and affection in their later years.
Lots of tender love and care will not only make them feel pawsitively warm to the bone, but the right treatment could also help extend the amount of time you have left to share with each other. If you’re noticing the signs of age in your senior pet, here are 5 tips to improve their comfort, optimize their vitality, and, hopefully, extend their life.
- Try to maintain their fitness
One of the most important things you can do for your aging dog or cat is to maintain their level of fitness through diet and exercise. This will help them stay spry and active, while also preventing weight gain that can lead to or exacerbate health conditions, such as obesity. Even as they age, make it a point to continue regular walks—you might just have to dial back the distance. Fido might not be able to play fetch for as long as he used to, but he should still be encouraged to give the old tennis ball a good chase.
Also, make sure that as your pet slows down their activity level, the volume of food they consume correspondingly decreases. They won’t have the same calorie requirement and if you continue feeding the same amount they’re used to, weight gain will be inevitable, so you should dial back your food delivery.
- Tend to arthritis and joint pain
Arthritis is very common in senior pets, especially dogs of large breeds. You might notice their joints start to stiffen up, causing them to slow their speed, walk like a robot, and in some cases, severely impede their mobility. When the pain becomes hard to manage, your senior pet will eventually have less and less desire to move, so keep them feeling at their best by managing their arthritis.
Help keep the spring in their step for years to come with pet mobility supplements. Glucosamine, in particular, is one ingredient known to deliver powerful hip and knee support, so be sure to look for it in the formula label of any product you’re considering.
- Stay on top of plaque build-up
Hopefully, you’ve stayed on top of plaque build-up throughout your pup’s life; if not, it’s pretty likely that they’ve developed some seriously stinky breath by now. But not only does plaque smell bad, it’s essentially a cement of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis and bone loss if left untreated.
Your dog might lose their appetite if they’re missing teeth necessary to chew food, or if each bite is painful in their mouth—and without the proper nutrition, you could watch them slowly wither away.
Schedule an oral exam, if necessary, and promote hygiene by adding a canine dental formula to their water bowl. The liquid formula contains antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients designed to target plaque and tartar—especially in places where toothbrushes can’t reach—to maintain optimal gum health.If you sign up for pet insurance, you can reduce some of these costs in the long run. Check out what’s on offer at Bivvy.com.
- Keep them enriched with mental stimulation
It’s incredibly sad to watch your once-active pet just lay around the house, barely lifting their head at the passing garbage truck they used to pick a bone with. Don’t let them just stare into the distance and lose their mental faculty; keep their mind enriched even if their body needs rest.
For example, there are pet playlists that you can play so they can listen to music curated by an algorithm, backed by artificial intelligence. Or, there are puzzles for pets that encourage your guy or gal to strategically move blocks and wheels so they can find the yummy treat inside. These sorts of activities will help them stay sharp, even as the years add up.
- Soothe their anxiety that may come with age
Your senior pet might get a little worrisome when you’re not by their side. If that’s the case, you might consider CBD for pets with anxiety. It offers the same soothing benefits as it does for humans, and provides an all-natural alternative to heavier sedatives.
You wouldn’t want your little loved one to wander off in search of their human, so keep their nerves nice and relaxed when you’re not around.
The most important thing is to make the most of your time together with lots of TLC, and to cherish all the memories you’ve made thus far. Wishing you and your furry friend all the best!