September is Senior Pet Month
As your pet ages, many changes develop. While genetics play a part in the aging process, you can help your pet age more comfortably with routine exams and preventative care. Exercise and good nutrition will also be very beneficial. Supplements and other medications can help ease pain, assist organ function, and much more.
Some things to take into consideration as your pet ages:
- Loss of muscle mass and function: Pets can develop weakness or lameness, especially in their hind limbs. Good nutrition and exercise are essential in preventing immature muscle loss.
- Skin and coat changes: Your pet’s coat may become dry or sparse, and the skin may become dry and flaky. Supplements and appropriate nutrition can help moisturize and add oils to the skin and coat.
- Vision and hearing loss: You may notice your pet’s eyes becoming cloudy. Normal aging of the lens is different from cataracts, and you should check with your veterinarian to evaluate all vision changes. Be cautious with stairs and in dimly lit situations. Never let your pet near the road unsupervised – they may not hear cars coming.
- Liver and kidney decline: Early detection through annual or bi-annual blood and urine screenings can determine if your pet has any decline in liver and kidney function. Your veterinarian can come up with a treatment and/or preventative plan for your pet.
- Inappropriate urination and or defecation: Sometimes it is painful for your pet to get into position to go to the bathroom. Supplements and prescription foods can help lubricate the joints.
- Increased vocalization/Confusion or disorientation
There are many therapies and options for your aging pet, including prescription foods, supplements, and prescription medications. Always check with your veterinarian when you see unusual symptoms in your pet. They may not be “just getting old.” Help your senior pet grow older comfortably…they’ve earned it!