Today, veterinarians provide exceptional care, which can extend the lives of our pets beyond past expectations. However, pets still don’t live as long as us. One inevitable part of adopting a cat or dog into your family is watching them age. As a pet owner, you can adjust your pet care routines, home, activities, and lifestyle to accommodate your pet’s changing needs and make their golden years the best ever.

5 Ways to Care for Your Senior Pet

1. Frequent Veterinary Visits and Health Screenings

Senior animals still need vaccinations and parasite preventatives, but we recommend more frequent checkups for seniors (typically two per year). This ensures we’re able to detect and treat medical conditions as they occur, rather than letting them go untreated for lengthy periods. Senior pets with chronic conditions also need regular management of their medications and symptoms. Pets with arthritis or other mobility issues require ongoing pain management.

2. Dietary Adjustments

You might switch to a specially formulated senior pet food and/or add a dietary supplement or two. These are designed to help senior pets maintain their health, weight, coat, and joints.

3. Exercise and Enrichment

Senior pets might not be as energetic as puppies or kittens, but they still love to play. Enrich their golden years with mild games of fetch and long, enjoyable walks. (Be sure to warm up first.)

4. Regular Grooming and Dental Care

Regular grooming ensures that any new lumps, bumps, or growths on your pet are addressed right away. Plus, grooming will keep your pet feeling clean and comfortable with trimmed nails and a healthy coat. Senior pets are at a higher risk of developing and succumbing to the effects of periodontal disease. You should brush your pet’s teeth at home, offer dental-friendly treats and chew toys, and talk with our veterinarian about whether scheduling a dental appointment for your senior pet would be a good idea.

5. Rethink Your Surroundings to Accommodate Physical Needs

As pets age, they commonly develop arthritis and other mobility issues. This can make it difficult or even painful for them to do the things they once loved like jumping up onto the sofa or bed, running across the kitchen tiles to eat dinner, or leaning down to eat and drink from their bowls. Pay close attention to your pet’s behavior and consider providing stairs onto the sofa or bed, purchasing a supportive pet bed, elevating food and water bowls, and putting secure rugs down over the slippery surfaces in your home.

At-Home Senior Pet Care in Richmond

As senior pets age, limiting stress in their daily lives becomes more important. You can avoid the stress associated with visiting a veterinary hospital by schedule a housecall appointment for your senior pet with Capital Home Veterinary Care. We’ll bring our comprehensive list of senior pet services right to your doorstep.