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Senior Pet Health Month

November 15, 2023

Do you have a furry, four-legged retiree on your hands? If so, you’ll want to do something special for Fluffy and Fido this month: it’s Senior Pet Health Month! Your dog or cat’s basic needs won’t change as they get older: they’ll still need good food, comfy shelter, and proper veterinary care to thrive. However, just like people, pets go through changes as they age, and become more susceptible to various illnesses and diseases. A Louisville, KY vet offers some helpful tips on keeping a senior pet healthy in this article.

Adjust Diet

Older pets have slightly different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts do. They don’t need as many calories as kittens and puppies, but they still need proper nutrition. Some senior pets have a hard time metabolizing fat, sugar, and proteins, and turning it into energy. Fido and Fluffy may benefit from a special diet, especially if they have medical issues. Ask your vet for specific advice, including tips on serving sizes, snacks, and changing over to a senior-formula food. Your furry friend may also benefit from certain supplements, such as glucosamine or fish oil.

Monitor Closely

While some health issues develop slowly, others can seemingly appear out of the blue. Watch for even small signs of illness or discomfort. That includes things like reduced appetite, limping, lethargy, vomiting, weight changes, increases in thirst and/or urination, fever, diarrhea, or respiratory issues. Call your vet right away if you notice anything.  

Offer Small Comforts

You’ve likely heard the saying comfort is king. That definitely applies here! For senior pets, that means things like good grooming, soft beds, and climate control. Pamper your furry pal a bit. After years of love and loyalty, they deserve it.

Keep Them Active

Senior pets often naturally become quite stiff and sore. They also don’t have much stamina, and can quickly lose muscle mass. Proper activity can help keep your furry friend fit and strong, which will benefit them both physically and mentally. Rather than taking Fido for long, vigorous hikes, you may only need to bring him on a short walk. As for Fluffy, remember to play with her regularly.

Keep Up With Veterinary Care

Most senior pets will benefit from more frequent veterinary appointments. Many veterinarians recommend having older pets come in every six months, but the exact time frame will depend on Fido and Fluffy’s age, breed, and health. Follow your vet’s recommendations.

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