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Senior Pet Care: What Changes as Pets Get Older?

As your pet ages, you can expect changes in its health, habits, and overall behavior. Today, pets are living longer, thanks to advances in vet medicine. With an increased lifespan, there is an increase in different types of ailments that affect senior pets. 


As pets age, they tend to suffer from various conditions ranging from kidney and heart disease to mobility disorders. 


 

Senior Pet Care 



A pet's lifespan will depend on the breed and the individual pet. Smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than larger ones. As a pet parent, you want your pet to live a long and healthy life. As you do what you can to extend your pet's lifespan, you should ensure that the senior years are healthy and happy. 


You know your pet and can notice any changes that may occur. Your vet at Eastern Animal Hospital can help you determine when your pet is in its senior years. 


 

Providing Preventive Care



Good preventive care will ensure that your pet remains healthy into its golden years. As your pet ages, you may need to change its diet. Complementing a diet for senior pets with special supplements will help support proper joint health and other issues. 


It is crucial to ensure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date and schedule health exams and checkups. Make sure your aging pet has a comfortable bed and gets regular dental care to prevent dental and health issues. Walking your pet regularly will help keep its body strong. 


 

Maintaining a Healthy Weight



As pets age, they are more likely to become overweight due to reduced activity. Evaluate your pet's nutrition as a part of senior pet care. Senior pet food has less fat than regular adult pet food but contains the same amount of protein. 


Monitor your pet's weight and remember that obesity can lead to many health issues, including mobility issues and diabetes. You must also ensure that your senior pet does not become underweight. 


 

Keeping Your Pet Active



A significant part of keeping your senior pet healthy is keeping them active. Your pet may not be able to perform the activities they enjoyed when younger, but you can keep them active. You can keep your older pet from becoming bored by providing games and activities to entertain them. 


Keeping their mind and body sharp can help ward off certain illnesses. Physical games can help burn extra calories while keeping the joints and muscles healthy. 


 

Changes in Behavior 



Paying attention to changes in your senior pet's behavior is vital. Look out for increased lethargy, aggression, and reduced appetite, which can indicate a health issue. If you notice any changes, visiting the vet is a good idea. 


Senior pets are more likely to suffer from certain disorders and diseases. They include cancer, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cognitive disorders, vision problems, dental disease, prostate disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and deafness.


Making small changes around your home can help keep your senior pet comfortable. The pet will need more heat to keep the body temperature regulated. They may even need a sweater in the winter months. 



For more on senior pet care and what changes as pets get older, visit Eastern Animal Hospital at our Baltimore, Maryland office. Call 410-633-8808 to schedule an appointment today.

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