Special care for “senior” cats and dogs
Our 'furry' companions also get older and need extra care. Although aging is not the same in all dogs, because it depends on the size and breed of the animal, it is advisable to start giving them a little extra care from the age of 7, regarding their health, exercise, hygiene, games and so on. However, what our pets will most appreciate are our love and understanding.
pets16 May 2017
For animals to have an optimal old age will also depend on the care we give them throughout their lives. In this way, our dog or cat will reach its senior years in good health. But if age-related diseases arise, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, deafness, loss of vision or others, the veterinarian should give you some guidelines to follow.
KEYS TO GOOD HEALTH
• Feeding: as senior dogs and cats decrease their activity, they tend to gain weight and, therefore, their diet should be low in calories, while providing the necessary nutrients for their age and even with extra vitamins.
• Water: older animals are prone to dehydration and may also suffer from kidney problems, so keep their dish filled with fresh, clean water and encourage them to drink.
• Exercise: we will notice that they are growing older because they sleep more. In order for them to have a healthy life, we must help them to get a minimum of daily exercise. In the case of dogs, this means more frequent outdoor walks, but for less time. For cats, they will need exercise at home.
• Veterinary check-ups: we must increase our visits to once every six months to make sure that everything is going well, as well as continuing with the usual vaccination, deworming and other care.
It is advisable to start taking special care of your cat or dog when they are 7 years old, so that they reach their “senior years” in good health.
• Oral hygiene: A good set of teeth is essential for our pets, so we must maximise their oral hygiene with 'snacks' to maintain a healthy mouth.
• Games/mental activity: in old age, cognitive stimulation is very important. Mental games will help them stay active, like hiding their toy to find it, playing catch a ball, and so on.
• Comfortable rest: when they get older a comfortable bed is essential, in a quiet, warm part of the house because they sleep more. Both dogs and cats usually sleep between 10 and 14 hours a day, while in old age they can sleep between 14 - 18 hours a day.
• Massages: A good massage, exerting a gentle pressure, will not only relax our pet, but will help us to detect possible painful spots.