Taking Care of your Senior Pets

How old is your pet in human years?


Our pets age faster than us as they don’t’ live as long as us. A rule of thumb for dogs and cats - except don’t forget cats have 9 lives – is:


  • Their first year of life is equal to 15 human years

  • Their second year is equal to about nine human years.

  • Each additional year is equal to about four or five human years for dogs and four for cats

When is my pet considered a Senior?


On average cats are classed as senior once they reach the age of about 11 years. Small dogs 11 years, medium dogs around 10 years and large dogs around 8 years, depending on the breed. Remember it is not how old your pet is but how healthy they are.


Signs of aging


Vision

Your pet may not actually go blind, but their eyesight may no longer be what it was. They may not be as good at catching toys, they may fall in the pool, walk out into the traffic or start bumping into the furniture.


Hearing

Deafness is fairly common in dogs and cats. At first it may be high to mid frequencies that are lost, followed by lower frequencies and eventually total deafness. If you dog ignores you when called from behind or doesn’t respond to noises other dogs respond to, they could be losing their hearing. As an owner it is important to make sure you teach your pet visual cues and ensure your pet smells or sees it’s food bowl, so they don’t miss out.


Skin

Grey hairs may appear around their muzzle and ears and their coat may lose its gloss. Their skin can become dry and flaky as they no longer produce as much natural oil. This can lead to irritation or an infection, which can lead to them becoming smelly. There are medicated shampoos available and courses of anti-biotics can be prescribed by your vet to help with this.


Teeth

Their teeth can rot or build up high levels of plaque. Taking them for regular check ups is necessary and home dental products are available.


Mobility

Arthritis and other changes can occur, effecting your pets’ ability to exercise. This can result in atrophy of muscles and they may become progressively unsteady on their feet. They can find slippery surfaces like tiles and wooden floors difficult to navigate.


Disturbed sleep

Sleep patterns can change due to various factors, such as pain and anxiety which can lead to your dog pacing and panting at night. Cognitive changes also cause sleeplessness in dogs.


How can you help your super senior ?


We recommend regular veterinary check-ups, as it is important to catch any diseases or age related changes early.


You can also support your senior pet at home.


Diet

As your pet ages it is vital to ensure that their diet supports their changing metabolism and aging joints. We have a wide range of Pet foods tailor-made for Seniors to support various conditions. For conditions that require veterinary consultation, specific nutritional support is available on prescription.


Exercise

You may need adapt how you play with your Senior but keeping them exercised will help keep them mobile and fitter. Rather than long walks, play hide and seek in your garden our home or take short walks around the garden in the morning and evening.


Comfy Dog Beds

Nothing better for your Senior than to snuggle down into a plush dog bed and if they sleep on your bed, a set of doggy stairs can really help.


Being pro-active with your older pet can improve longevity, give them a new lease on life and turn them into Super Seniors rather than Old Crocks!




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