If you have a senior pet, you may notice the features on their face showing their age. Signs may be white fur developing around the eyes and mouth area. Lighter lashes and eyebrows. More sleeping and slow to get up and moving. Just as humans, pets need special care and patients in their senior years.
A couple things to keep in mind for aging pets.
Change in behavior and mobility may slow down as joint pain arises and could be causing inflammation. Unlike most humans pets can not express their pain verbally, but if we pay close attention, the signs can be visible. Such as delays in getting up or down, difficulty navigating stairs, reluctance to play. Sometimes they could just be tired but if you find the signs persist, it’s most likely time to start a pain management plan. Listen for popping or cracking sounds coming from joints when your pet lays to rest or is getting back up.
As your fur pal enters their senior years, they can become more susceptible to injury, conditions or illnesses. More frequent visits and working closely with your vet is the best plan of action to planning a proactive way to help maintain the best senior care for your pet’s holistic health.
Common health issues for senior pets can be
- Cushing disease,
- Hip Dysplasia
- Tooth decay.
Want to know how old your pet is in dog/cat years?
Check out https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/senior-pet-care-faq
Diabetes has become more common in domestic pets. Signs of a diabetic pet (typically in dogs and cats) can be lethargy, excessive thirst and frequent urination, hunger. Although there may not necessarily be a cure for diabetes, the condition can be managed with an appropriate diet, exercise and medication plan place with your veterinarian.
Inquire about a senior wellness plan at your local veterinarian office.
Pros of adopting a mature or senior pet:
They are already house-trained. They are less likely to chew on shoes or furniture. Physically you know what you are getting as they are going to be fully grown knowing the size and their personality is developed. Have lots of love left to give. Often, they have endured their own loss and just need opportunity to adapt to new bonds and live out their golden years in a safe and happy environment to continue teaching what they know best. Loyalty.
End of Life care:
This is a difficult topic but one that needs to be had. Just as planning and adding your wishes for your pet’s wellbeing within your own will. Who should look after your pet should something happen to you, what want for your pet’s final days should also be planned ahead. All too often the decline and loss of our furry companion can suddenly catch us by surprise. Emotions of grief are real yet having to make decisions quickly. There are resources for your pets end of life and planning finalisations. You and your vet together are the ultimate team for managing the special needs for your pet’s end of life. It’s important to have a plan. Knowing your options is detrimental. If you want to have your pet’s last moments to be at home, it’s important to find a veterinarian that would provide a home visit. This could be more difficult than usual due the current pandemic this year so make sure to start planning in advance rather waiting last minute and being disappointed. Memorial options such as placing your pet’s ashes into urns, or other objects including jewellery or preserving paw prints is an option these days. Maybe a creative memorial portrait. There are so many things to choose in order to honor and remember your beloved companion today. For grieving pet parents, grief support resources, pet compassion care lines etc are there for your support. Connect with your vet office, text, message or call me for more information.
Resources: Until We Meet Again.
304-31334 Peardonville Rd.
BCSPCA- Why Senior Animals Make Great Pets. Sept.20 2020.