Do you have an aging pet? If so, then it may be time to make some changes to better accommodate your senior or geriatric pet. The age at which a pet is considered "senior" can vary depending on the type of pet you have. For most pets, however, "senior" age is considered around ages 8-10 and above. When it comes to caring for an older pet, there are a few things you need to know.
Make Your Home Accessible
For starters, consider the fact that many older pets have a harder time getting around than they may have when they were younger. This means you might need to begin taking some special measures to make your home more accessible to your pet. For instance, if your home has more than one floor, try to keep everything your pet needs on the floor he or she spends the most time on. This will prevent your pet from having to travel up and down stairs more than necessary. If possible, include your pet's "essentials" on each floor of the home.
Schedule More Frequent Exams
As your pet ages, the need for more comprehensive health and wellness exams may increase as well. Whereas your pet may have gotten by just fine with one exam a year when he or she was younger, closer monitoring of your pet's health may now be needed. Talk to your vet for your pet's specific needs, but many will recommend that senior and geriatric pets come in for exams at least twice a year. This makes it easier to spot changes in your pet's health as early as possible.
Look Out for Red Flags
In between vet appointments, pet owners should be on the lookout for common "red flags" that could indicate the start of serious health problems. If your pet begins to drink a lot more water than usual, for example, this could be a sign of kidney problems or even a symptom of diabetes. Any changes in your pet's activity levels, potty habits, or food intake should also be noted and brought up to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
These are just a few things pet owners can do to protect and optimize the health and wellness of an aging pet. By following these tips, you may be able to prolong your pet's life and enhance his or her quality of life as well. For more help, speak with a vet who specializes in geriatric care. You can also contact businesses like the Baywood Animal Hospital for more information.