Senior Pet Care

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If you have a pet in it’s senior years, you may have started to notice some changes. Allentown Animal Clinic has some tips on slowing down the signs of aging and keeping your senior pets more comfortable.

Some changes your pet is experiencing will be noticeable, such as hearing loss, decreased vision, changes in coat, and behavior patterns. Other changes are happening internally and may have more subtle symptoms. If caught and addressed early by your veterinarian many of these changes can be slowed and your pet can be happy and comfortable well into their senior years.

Senior pets have less tolerance for the cold weather during fall and winter. Using a sweater when your pet goes outside offers some protection. Also, be sure your pet has a place inside to rest away from drafts.

Thinning hair coat is common among senior pets. Talk to your veterinarian about starting a fatty acid supplement that can help with skin and coat.

You may also start to notice a lack of appetite and weight loss. Just like humans pets will start to lose their sense of taste and smell, making food less appetizing. They also start to lose muscle mass and tone as they age. In addition, your senior pet could be experiencing dental issues. Consider having your pets teeth professionally cleaned at your veterinarian and start a home dental care routine.  Be sure your pet is eating a well balanced diet. You can warm their food slightly or add a small amount of canned food to increase palatability.

You will most likely start to see some behavior changes in your senior pet. Many of these are associated with physical problems. Your pet may be less active due to joint stiffness and pain. An increase in drinking and urination can be a sign of liver and/or kidney issues.

Semiannual exams with your pet’s veterinarian can help detect early organ problems. Have your pet see your vet every six months to monitor bloodwork and physical changes that are happening.

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