Senior Pet Care

Many of my routine visits include senior pets, both dogs and cats.  I’ve owned a number of senior pets over the years, and I have a great love for seniors.  We all get older!  I thought it might be important to give a little insight into the care of a senior pet.

Weight Control

As pets age, their metabolism slows and most likely there is a decrease in physical activity.  Many pets tend to gain weight as they age.  Some may be on special diets to control weight.  If a senior pet tends to gain weight, it’s not enough to simply cut back on the current diet.  Feeding less may deprive the pet.  There are specially formulated foods for seniors.  Check with your vet.  There are treats that can be given to pets without adding too many additional calories.  Ask your vet for recommendations.

Activity Level

Humans on diets understand that exercise goes hand in hand with good nutrition and the battle to lose weight.  This is also true of our senior fur-kids.  Leash walks are great for senior dogs.  Keep senior cats active with interactive toys such as chase toys, feather dancers, etc., to keep the senior cat active.  It may be a good opportunity to ask your pet sitter/dog walker to assist in increased activity for your senior.  Have your senior checked by the vet to make sure there are no physical problems that would aggravate the senior’s condition.

As a pet sitter/dog walker of a number of senior pets, I am always very observant when I interact with them.  I watch their gate, their balance and for signs that they have had enough activity.  Exercise increased blood flow the of the muscles and other body tissues.  It helps to stimulate muscles and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues, which helps in a more efficient removal of cellular wastes.  And, it is enjoyable for your senior and for me to spend time with them.  I give them a lot of love and I know we all have a special place in our hearts for these beloved members of our families!

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