Pets are a privilege; they are bundles of joy that brighten our days. Yet, as they age, they will need care tailored to their unique circumstances. If your pet is getting up there in age, here’s what you can do to make their senior years a little easier.
An aging pet may develop increased sensitivity to certain foods. As well, certain conditions can interfere with appetite or require dietary changes. Their diminished activity can also decrease their metabolism, which might make large meals unappealing or difficult to digest. Still, it’s essential that you build up a diet that is rich in healthful nutrients if you have a cat. Make portion sizes manageable, and focus on high-quality ingredients such as chicken and fish. These meals are easily digested and offer the right levels of protein. Organic options are an excellent choice to fulfill your feline’s needs. However, remember to make use of online reviews, as fellow owners can offer valuable insights into what will best serve your pet.
You do not need to make extensive changes to create an environment that is safe for aging. First, think about your pet’s needs. Do they have reduced mobility or a condition such as arthritis? If so, consider how you might limit their physical strain. Have they struggled to use their bowls or litter boxes? This is a common problem for senior cats. Thankfully, bowls need only be raised by a shoe box to benefit your furball. Elevated feeding bowls can also be purchased online for $11.04. For litter boxes, consider open-sided options or transform a storage box to serve the purpose. Whatever adaptations you make, it may be best to center their lives on the first floor. Give your friend a calming space where they can eat, sleep, and play. In short: Make your home a comfortable place for your pet.
Our companions have always been there for us. They give us love and affection when we need it. As they age, we need to be there for them. In fact, you may find that your friend takes the initiative. They may seek out more attention or want to play frequently — don’t rebuff them. Play as much as they want. Use anything, such as grooming, to be close to them. Further, try to socialize your furball. If your pet is comfortable, invite other owners over for small gatherings. This may take patience, especially with cats. Yet, helping them gain confidence can ease some of the strain that comes with maturity. Aging can be scary for our pets, but reassurance and new friends can make a difference in their lives.
Keep Them Active
We may want our friends to have more rest in their senior years, but they need to stay active for their well-being. Fortunately, this is an opportunity to inject some extra fun into your furball’s life. While their mobility may not be what it was, that doesn’t mean you should get rid of climbing towers or scratching posts. If necessary, get replacement structures that are more manageable for joints. Also, freshen up their collection of toys to reflect their changing needs; for example, use laser pointers or simply play a bit of hide and seek. Take advantage of safe treats by placing them inside toys or throwing them to encourage movement. Keeping an older pet active can be as simple as letting them roam outside in your yard for a while. In this case, it’s usually best to have a fence surrounding your property to keep your pet enclosed and safe. Installing a wood fence generally will run you from $1,640 to $3,962 nationally. Remember, exercise is essential, but always consult with your vet before making any changes.
Knowing the signs of aging is vital. It allows us, as owners, to look out for our pet’s health and adjust their care accordingly. Like humans, our fur friends will slow down as they age. Their joints may become stiffer, and they may become less agile. This will impact their behavior, but it may also cause some pain. Research will help you distinguish between superficial aging and serious issues. For instance, cats may develop cloudiness around their eyes. Yet, this does not impact their vision. Vet checkups will grow in importance as these changes take effect. By age 10, you should look to at least two annual checkups. These examinations can give your furry friend the support they need to keep them happy and healthy. The average cost of a checkup is $45 - $55, but this can vary greatly based on your location.
We can help our aging pets. Give them an environment where they can thrive, be there when needed, and know what to look for. This is a new chapter in your pet’s life; make it a good one.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Nick Burton, Guest Blogger at ourbestdoggo.com