We all hope to live as long as possible with our pets. With advances in veterinary care and nutrition, most pets can reach old age. By following these senior pet care tips from Magruder-Tabb Animal Clinic in Yorktown, VA, you can help make your pet’s golden years healthy and happy.
Regular Senior Pet Exams
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that all older pets get senior pet exams at least once per year. These are more intensive than the usual annual check-up and may include bloodwork, a closer look at teeth, and more checks for diseases or conditions that often occur in geriatric pets. Lumps and bumps, which are common in older pets, are examined. Any bump that is hard or suddenly grows in size needs to be looked at by our vet immediately.
Older pets have slower metabolisms than younger pets. This is due in part to them not being so active. This means that older pets tend to put on weight, which can lead to health problems like heart disease and arthritis. Talk to our veterinarian about cutting calories from your pet’s diet without skimping on nutrition.
Older pets are not as steady on their feet as when they were younger. Older dogs sometimes become scared to walk across smooth surfaces. Placemats or towels down on smooth floors to help give your dog confidence. Older cats may have trouble getting in and out of a litter box, so make sure the sides are low. Older pets often cannot jump as well, so they may need assistance getting up into cars, on furniture, and windowsills.
Geriatric pets tend to accidentally urinate or defecate in the house or outside of the litter box. If they have not had accidents for years, this sudden lapse can signal health problems like diabetes, arthritis, urinary tract infections, or kidney problems. Get your pet checked by our geriatric pet care specialists. Older dogs may need to go outside more often and should always be taken out right before bedtime.
This is a senior pet care tip that you might be doing already. Older pets have less resistance to parasites and the diseases caused by parasites, so it’s important to keep up regular parasite control. Heartworm chew tablets and chewable or spot-on treatments for fleas and ticks will be recommended based on your pet’s needs.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Veterinarian in Yorktown, VA for Senior Pet Care
If you have questions about geriatric pet care tips that have not been answered here, contact Magruder-Tabb Animal Clinic today. Call us at (757) 865-6510 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.