21 Jul The Importance of Health Checks for your Senior Pet
While our fur-babies getting older and developing that silver fox beard can be a significantly fulfilling moment in our lives, it is also an important wake-up call. Instead of bolting through the yard in a vigorous game of fetch, our pets start to prefer snuggling in for a nice mid-morning and afternoon nap. This is when we know that they need a little extra TLC and help from you.
Our pets are considered a senior at seven years of age. Some of the behavioural changes to look out for include:
- Discomfort or trouble rising from lying down or after exercising
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of house training
- Change in appetite
- Bad breath, plaque or bleeding gums
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Persistent cough
- Confusion or disorientation
You can help keep your senior pet in ideal shape by:
- Ensuring they have six monthly health checks: These checks are recommended to monitor any changes in your senior pet’s health.
- Healthy teeth and gums: Maintaining impeccable dental health is vital to your pet’s overall wellbeing.
- Observation: Keeping an eye on any appearance, behaviour or appetite changes in your pet.
- Tailored diet: With the help of your vet, you can create a tailored nutrition plan to satisfy your pet’s needs.
- Regular exercise: This is important in keeping your pet active and healthy, especially in their senior years.
- Routine: Maintaining a routine prevents your pet from feeling anxiety and stress.
- Patience: As their hearing and sight starts to decline, it is important to stay calm and patient with your senior pet.
- Make eating and drinking easy: Especially for arthritic pets, elevating their food and drink bowls can make this a comfortable experience. This also prevents neck and back stiffness.
- Combatting the stairs: It could be worth installing a ramp or middle step for your senior pet, as this can help aid their joint pain when taking the stairs.
This time in their lives means that regular health checks are vital to know if there are any health problems that could be developing. At home, you will be able to observe any of the behavioural changes listed above in your pet. This works perfectly with the senior pet health check that can include:
- Weight check
- Arthritis grading
- Dental assessment
- Physical check
- Cardiac monitoring
- Eye examination
- Nutrition plan that is tailored to your pet’s needs
As you would know, preventative health care is very important to keep an eye on any health issues that commonly develop at this age. If you would like to book your pet in for a senior health check or speak to one of our nurses about your senior pet’s health, please contact our clinic.
–Written by United Vets Group–