Senior pets suffer many of the same conditions that plague their human counterparts, such as arthritis, heart failure and vision impairment. These conditions can be managed and sometimes prevented with twice yearly vet check-ups.
Greencross Vets Brookvale Vet Director, Dr Adam Sternburg says, “It’s important for senior pets to see a vet regularly to identify any problems that may affect their quality of life as they get older.
“Much like senior people, it is important to diagnose a senior pet with age-related conditions before it gets to a point that hinders the pet’s quality of life. Remembering that dogs age about seven times faster than humans reminds us that visiting their vet twice a year is necessary to manage their health as it deteriorates.”
Dr Sternburg has provided the following tips for owners to help put the spring back in their step and help senior pets remain healthy and active in their twilight years.
• Keep your senior pet on a diet specifically formulated for their needs. Special diets can help manage kidney disease, arthritis, skin and coat condition as well as a healthy weight.
• Pets of all ages love to socialise! If you have a senior dog, make regular trips to your local park to keep them active and full of energy. This will help to maintain their muscle mass which supports joint health. Before you take them to the park, make sure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
• Cats often enjoy small changes to their routine or environment. Nurturing their inquisitive minds by making these changes can help to prevent boredom which will also keep them active.
• Depending on your pet’s condition, a heated pool is a great way for your pets to exercise and can be very therapeutic. Make sure you check with your local Greencross Vet first.
• Soft bedding that provides warmth can help keep your senior pet warm during the cold winter months. Offering these small comforts to your senior pet can keep their joints ready for the next day’s activities.
To aid senior pets with their health and well being, Greencross Vets offer a unique health care program called Healthy Pets Plus. The program provides pets with a preventative wellness plan that includes vaccinations and unlimited consultations to help keep pets in peak condition.