Today is the day that you bring home your new pet! The anxiety wells up mixed with the anticipation and excitement as you go pick them up, and then once you see them, it all melts away as your journey begins together. Days go by, and the memories you make with each other grow and grow, and then the next thing you know, their face seems to be slightly more greyed, and those long walks you used to take start to get shorter. You want to make your pet as comfortable and happy as they can be, so you pick up the phone to make an appointment for an exam by your trusted veterinarian.
It is important to schedule regular veterinarian visits with your senior pet twice yearly. During these visits, we will fully examine your pet and recommend any diagnostics and treatments that are deemed appropriate such as lab work, radiographs or supplements to use at home. Bloodwork can be performed to indicate if there are any changes with your pet’s organ function and can be early detection of diseases that may not present symptoms until your pet becomes ill. These tests are important as they can test for arthritis, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and many more age-related problems that can arise. There are also special diets that your senior pet could benefit from that your veterinarian may recommend, such as a dental diet, a diet that promotes certain organ health, or a weight loss diet.
Once your appointment is over, the work doesn’t stop there! There are many things that you can do at home to help keep your senior pet comfortable and happy.
Help Them Up: If you notice that your pet is having more difficulties walking on stairs and getting up from lying down, consider adding mats on the stairs or purchasing an orthopedic bed. Regular exercise can also be extremely beneficial for your senior pet in maintaining healthy joints and muscles, whether it is a short walk around the block or bringing out that old laser pointer.
Keep Them Stimulated: When your pet is home try giving them something to stimulate them mentally, Kongs are a great way to keep a dog busy, and you can freeze them the night before to help them last longer. New catnip toys/mats can be very excited for your fellow feline and can keep them busy with hours of fun.
Adapt Their Surroundings: Once your pet gets older, many suffer from joint pain and discomfort, if your pet is having difficulties getting into the car or bed considering purchasing a ramp, or pet stairs. Consider leaving a lamp on at night so that your pets can roam around with ease.
Call Us! We want to help any way that we can, so if you have any questions or concerns, we always welcome you to call, and we will assist you in any way that we can.
Written by: Candice Dystant, RVT