Elderly Pet care in WinterBy vetsadmin | August 2, 2020
As we slide into the month of August, the coldest month of the year some of us may be preparing to enter a human form of hibernation. Binge watching our favourite Netflix show, cuddled up with our fur baby with the heater running and cup of hot tea in our hands, and why shouldn’t you? Self-care is important and not many of us will feel like braving the cold weather too much throughout this winter period.
At Vets on Call we want to make sure you don’t forget the special needs of your pets, specifically our aging pets during this time. Winter can be hard for us all but if you’re an aging dog or cat winter can be particularly tough. So we thought it may be helpful if we put together a few tips on how to care for elderly pet’s during winter.
- Diet: The best and easiest way to maintain an optimal weight for your aging dog. Keeping them on a high-quality diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrate will be best. You’ll also need to monitor their portions and control any snacks to help keep their weight at an optimal level. There are also dietary supplements that can help with a lot of different ailments. Speak with your Vets on Call vet about appropriate options for your pet.
- Stimulation: Ensuring your pet is both physically and mentally stimulated will help keep their mind and body healthy as they age. You’ll need to reduce their exercise to adjust to their aging body but exercise will remain an important part of keeping them healthy. They may not be your 5km run training buddy anymore but they will still enjoy and benefit from a leisurely stroll through the park. New toys or savaging food bowls will help to keep their minds active and engaged.
- Customise your home: We’ve all seen the non-slip mats in the bottom of our Nan’s shower, or the modifications to their homes to help them to maintain an independent life. Well our aging pets need some minor modifications to ensure their twilight years are as comfortable as they can be. Simple things like an electric blanket on their bed, adding a ramp to the back stairs for easy access and even making their food and water a bit more accessible will help them a lot with their day-to-day life.
- Dental Care: One of the biggest causes of discomfort in a senior pet’s life is their teeth. Their teeth can be hurting from decay, damage or untreated gum disease and affect their ability to eat, chew toys and will may be painful throughout the day. Having a regular dental check is a vitally important part of caring for an elderly pet.
- Regular checks: Pets over 7 years of age will require check-ups more regularly. That yearly check-up they’ve had their entire life will need to be every six months. The reality is that older pets can develop conditions faster than a young pet, their also more susceptible to more degenerative issues such as arthritis and diabetes. Regular checks will enable your Vets on Call vet to identify these issues before they become a serious problem and to develop and implement a treatment or management plan quickly.
If you’ve got a an elderly pet have a Vets on Call vet come out to visit your pet and give them a thorough check-up and make sure their comfortable as we move into the coldest month of the year.