May is Senior Health Month

posted: by: Erin Weinzapfel, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

This month we would like to focus on senior pets. Although it is difficult to give an exact year at which our pets make the transition into becoming geriatric, we start to consider most pets seniors at 7 or 8 years old. Pets age more quickly than we do, but they still battle many of the same changes as they age. Aging pets may require changes to everyday care to help keep them comfortable and active in their golden years.

As pets age, their bodies may require a different balance of nutrients that are more easily digestible. They may also need supplements to help with their joints or with inflammation such as glucosamine or omega fatty acids. Some senior foods may already include these supplements. 

Pets can also get arthritis, just like us. Orthopedic bedding has better padding to reduce pressure on achy joints. Using food and water bowls that are raised off the ground can also help reduce stress on their neck. If your pet is having difficulty jumping in the car or on the bed, using stairs or ramps can help them get up and down more easily. 

Senior pets can also develop endocrine and metabolic conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney disease, and many others. Bloodwork is recommended annually, or biannually, to monitor for changes. This allows us to get an internal picture of their health as a physical exam can only tell us so much. These conditions are much easier to manage if they are detected early.

Visit the link below for more information on caring for your Senior pet.

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Caring-for-an-Older-Pet-FAQs.aspx