Senior Pet Care
Just like their human counterparts, dogs and cats feel the effects of aging. They may not show it as much as people do, outside of a little gray aaround the muzzle, but once they reach a certain age, their needs change and so do they.
It really depends on the breed. Larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs. For example, a Great Dane would be considered a senior by age six, however, a smaller breed such as a poodle wouldn’t be considered a senior until about ten years of age.
Cats are typically considered seniors between eight and ten years of age. Like dogs, they also have changing needs as they age.
When it comes to your senior dog, you may not notice anything different, or you may notice that her activity levels have changed. Your dog may sleep more, might be less active, and may put on weight. Weight gain is a common problem for both senior dogs and cats and is a major cause of other health problems.
One important change to make when it comes to your senior pet is nutrition. Just like you don’t feed a puppy the same food as you do an adult dog, you should also not feed your senior dog the same old diet.
Both dogs and cats have changing nutritional needs as they get older. The right pet food can make a big difference in the health and longevity of your dog or cat.
One nutritional change that most pets experience is a need for fewer calories. This is partly due to the fact that your pet is less active and has a slower metabolism, therefore needs fewer calories If you continue feeding your pet as you always have, there is an increased risk of obesity, which is a catalyst for other health problems. Being overweight puts unnecessary stress on the joints and contributes to heart disease and diabetes.
In addition to caloric needs, your pet also requires a different nutritional balance than he did before. Senior pets need increased fiber and more easily digestible proteins.
While your pet may be less active, it’s still important that they get plenty of exercise to keep them not only physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well. Continue ensuring that your dog gets regular playtime, and encourage your kitty to stay active as well. This not only keeps your pet fit but also keeps them sharp and happy.
The older your pet gets, the more likely they will be making unexpected visits to the vet. It’s always a good idea to have the number of your urgent pet care Omaha handy in the event your dog or cat becomes ill.