rspca

Senior Pet Care

Pet Care Article taken from The Biscuit magazine
How do we keep our pets happy and comfortable as they enjoy their golden years?

This article is from The Biscuit magazine.

It’s not something you really want to think too much about, but the reality is, we all get old and so do our pets. So how do we keep our pets happy and comfortable as they enjoy their golden years?

Here are some common things you may notice in your aging pet, and what to do about it.

Grey hairs

The great thing is, our pets don’t worry about wrinkles, age lines and grey hairs - we could learn a thing or two from them! Greying and coat changes will happen to your pet over time, nothing too much to worry about there.

Weight changes

As our pets age they become less active and may catch more ZZZs on the couch. While this is oh so cute as you get to spend more cuddle time together, they might start to plump up a bit. There are plenty of products on the market to help your pet maintain a healthy weight, not only for their longevity, but also for their joint health. Chat to your veterinarian to assess the amount of food your pet is eating and a suitable feeding plan as they age. You can also check out the range of food available for senior pets at RSPCA World for Pets.

Exercise

Your pet should still be getting some exercise in their golden years. For dogs, a gentle walk over flat ground every day is ideal. You’ll know your pet’s limits. Swimming is also a great activity for aging dogs to promote circulation and retain muscle tone, while relieving pressure on their joints. For cats, a gentle play with some interactive toys such as dangle rods and balls is a great idea to get them moving every now and then.

Tips to keep your pet happy these cooler months

If you have a dog or cat, it’s great to keep them indoors in the evening during winter so they are away from the elements. If you own a bird, ensure they are kept in a warmer part of your house with their enclosure high, away from drafts, and covered with a light sheet overnight. Small pets like guinea pigs, mice and rats should also be away from drafts too with hidey hole options and soft bedding increased.

Ensure your dog or cat has comfy bedding with blankets, and keep bedding away from drafts. Low bedding for elderly dogs, but off the ground is ideal. Cats will generally find a cosy place in your home, but it’s a good idea to keep cat caves around the house as an option, should your feline be so inclined.

There are also great outdoor dog bedding options available that act as wind barriers, bedding that is elevated off the ground to avoid drafts, and beds that provide complete shelter. View the RSPCA World for Pets range here.

Dog coats are another great way of keeping your pet warm during the cooler months. There are a range of different dog coats and dog jumpers available at RSPCA World for Pets for the fashion conscious pooch!

Don’t forget if you have a senior pet to ensure they have regular 6 monthly check ups at your vet so you can stay on top of their needs.

Your pets may need health supplements to assist them as they age. There are some great products available for prevention and management of ailments like arthritis and the new RSPCA Joint Health Tablets are now in stock! Check out the full range of health products for your cat, and for your dog at RSPCA World for Pets.

Senior pets like Mandy, pictured above, make fantastic companions! Mandy was adopted in her golden years from the RSPCA. You can read more here about what it’s like to welcome a senior pet into your home.

Emma Lagoon
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