When it comes to the love, joy, friendship, and laughter pets bring to our lives, age truly knows no bounds. Whether you’ve cared for your pet since he or she was a puppy or kitten, or opened your home to an older pet, senior pet care is a deeply rewarding experience.
Thanks to better home care, the availability of proper nutrition, and advances in veterinary science, our pets are living longer now than ever before. Because pets age much more quickly than humans (a pet is considered a senior at roughly 7 years of age), it’s important to understand and stay alert to their changing health needs.
Senior Pet Care 101
Since the risk of disease increases with age, regular veterinary care is essential for the intervention and treatment of age-related disease or other health issues. At Godspeed Animal Care, we recommend twice-yearly wellness exams and diagnostic lab workups for senior pets.
Senior pet owners can further support their pet’s health in the following ways:
- Making sure pets are up-to-date on all vaccines and parasite preventives to protect weaker immune systems
- Following your veterinarian’s nutrition and exercise recommendations for your senior pet
- Continuing to provide your pet with good home dental care, and adhere to your pet’s regularly scheduled professional dental examinations and cleanings
- Making adjustments to increase your senior pet’s comfort level (raised beds and food bowls, ramps, and pet stairs are a few ideas for improving quality of life for pets with mobility issues)
Adopting a Senior Pet
If you’ve never had the pleasure and satisfaction of adopting a senior dog or cat, you are missing out on one of life’s great joys!
Sure, puppies and kittens are cute and fun, but many prospective pet owners underestimate the amount of work involved in raising a younger animal. When you take into consideration all that needs to be done in order to integrate a puppy or kitten into the home (everything from housebreaking or litter box training to dealing with behavioral issues), the time commitment is significant.
A senior pet, on the other hand, is generally a mellower guy or gal. Senior pets are often already housebroken, know basic obedience commands, and are used to living in a home and receiving the love and attention of humans.
Perhaps most significantly, however, is the feeling you will get from knowing that you saved a life. Senior pets are surrendered for a variety of reasons, and all too often spend their final days languishing in shelters. By bringing home an older dog or cat, you are not only saving a life, you are making that life worth living again (and gaining a new best friend in the process).
If you have any questions or concerns about senior pet care or need to set up an appointment for your furry friend, don’t hesitate to contact your team at Godspeed Animal Care today!