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pet enjoy their golden yearsDo you have a senior pet? WIth advancements in pet nutrition and wellness care, our pets are living longer and healthier lives. It’s not uncommon for pets to live into their teens (and even 20’s for cats!). However, it’s important to realize that older pets need special attention and care to help them stay healthy and happy as long as possible..

Here are some tips for senior pet care. Together, we can help your pet enjoy their golden years in style!

What is Senior?

The old rule was “senior at 7,” but the actual calculation is more complicated than that. In general, larger breed dogs are considered senior at age 5, and small dogs and cats are considered senior between 7 and 9. Age is not a disease, but it’s best to check with us to determine your pet’s individual health needs so we can begin tailoring a senior wellness plan for them.

Nutrition

Just like in people, nutrition plays a big role in helping your pet maintain optimum health. Look for a complete, balanced diet that has the essential nutrients pets need. Talk to us about what’s best for your senior pet.

Exercise

Your senior pet may be slowing down, but that’s no reason to let them become a couch potato! Exercise keeps their joints and muscles limber and helps keep them mobile for longer.

Preventive Care

Like people, it’s important to check regularly to make sure all is well. Early detection of disease is one of the best defenses against a serious problem. As a bonus for you, conditions that are diagnosed and treated early on are often less expensive than diseases treated in later stages. At Millbrae Pet Hospital, we recommend that your pet be seen for a complete physical exam at least once a year.

Regular Grooming

Senior pets may not groom themselves as well as they once did, especially if they’re achy and reaching parts of their body is uncomfortable. Regular grooming is important to keep their skin and coat healthy; the time you spend on this task will also help you know if there are any physical changes that need attention as they occur, rather than months down the road. Also, your senior pet will thrive on the love and companionship a gentle grooming provides.

Practice Good Oral Health

Taking care of the teeth and gums is critical to your pet’s health. Pets don’t get cavities like we do, but plaque accumulation on their teeth and along the gum line eventually causes tooth loss and bathes the mouth in harmful bacteria. This can eventually lead to problems with the liver, kidneys, and heart. You can prevent dental problems by regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and talking to us about the need for a dental cleaning at your pet’s wellness exam.

Love and Companionship

The most important way to help your pet enjoy their golden years is by giving them your continued love and companionship. As our pets age, they may not see or hear as well as they once did, and they may have health issues that surface. Patience is key to living with and caring for a senior pet. Even when your pet does not respond as much to your voice and touch, they still need your companionship for well being.

These are but a few ideas to help your pet enjoy their golden years. We would love to partner with you to discuss other ways to keep your senior pet healthy. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for a senior wellness visit. Together, we can make sure your friend is on the path to happy golden years.