Our pets are our lifelong companions and deserve the best we have to offer. As they get older, you will find that your cat or dog will require some extra TLC to help them maintain a high quality of life. So, what can you do as a pet owner to maximize their golden years? Here are some of our top tips on caring for your senior pet.
Body and Mind: Proper Nutritional Support Is Key
As your pet ages, it will become important to help mitigate conditions such as arthritis or joint problems. One of the best ways to do this is to provide them with the appropriate supplements. Our favorite choices include glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. These supplements can come in pill form (which tend to be more concentrated) or as chewable treats. In fact, many companies include two or even all three of these nutrients in their formula.
Additionally, adding Omega-3s to your pet’s diet can go a long way in helping them as they get older. Omega-3s act not only as an anti-inflammatory but also as an anti-arthritic and is one of the best supplements you can feed your cat or dog. Try choosing a fish such as sardines, which are lower on the food chain and thereby have fewer pollutants, toxins, and other chemicals found in fish higher on the chain. An even better source of Omega-3s is phytoplankton. These algae not only contain a much higher concentration of omega-3s than fish oil they are also not susceptible to oxidative stress or becoming rancid. And like fish oil, you can simply add it to your pet’s food for easy supplementation.
And did you know that Omega-3s are also great brain food as well? Like humans, your senior pet may experience cognitive issues as they age. This supplement can help to provide support to keep their minds as strong and sharp as possible during their golden years.
Caring For Your Senior Pet Includes Adjustments At Home
Mobility can be a constant challenge for senior pets, especially in homes with hard floors. Your cat or dog won’t have the flexibility or strength to walk as easily on wood, tile or other slippery surfaces. Throwing down area rugs in main traffic spaces can go a long way in assisting them. Plus, it can provide padding and warmth for their arthritic bones. Another change you can make is to switch their beds out for memory foam alternatives. This will help relieve pressure on an aging pet, offering comfort and warmth from joint and muscle pain. Your pet may also start to lose their vision as they get older. It is crucial at this point in their life that you try to refrain from moving furniture in your home. Otherwise, your pet may become confused or stressed at becoming lost in your house since things are now in a different place. Relatedly, it may help to associate certain scents to each room so they can more easily navigate the layout of your home. Some of our favorites are lavender, vanilla, eucalyptus, cedar, mint, and citrus. You can make a pet-friendly scented spray with diluted water, witch hazel or vodka, and your choice of essential oil.
Don’t Forget Exercise!
When thinking about caring for your senior pet, remember they will still need exercise to stay limber and healthy. And regular walks are a great way to keep them active. Remember, however, to go at their pace. A dog will more than likely try to follow your pace because they don’t want to be left behind. So, be mindful during walks and don’t force them to speed up. Additionally, your pet may be older, but they are still a dog! Chances are, they still love to play, so don’t toss out those toys yet. Just be gentler and try not to force them to run or skid on slippery surfaces.
Whatever your senior pets’ needs our team of pet care professionals will be sure to give them the highest quality care possible. Check out our pet sitting and dog walking services and take advantage of our $30 discount on your first booking!