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Health Tips for Older Pets

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Pets age at a much faster rate than humans. Not long ago, you had a bouncy pup or a playful kitten, and one day you realize they are slowing down or the fur on their face has turned white. Sometimes it seems to happen in the blink of an eye!

To help your pet feel his best as he ages, be sure to continue your regular visits to the veterinarian. Older pets still need consistent heartworm, flea, and tick preventative and certain vaccinations. But as pets get older, your veterinarian may recommend more extensive bloodwork. This will alert you to any changes in your pet’s thyroid, organ function, and blood cell count. The earlier problems are detected, the sooner treatment can begin, helping your pet feel better and potentially helping him live longer.

It’s also important to keep your older pet fit and active. While your pet may not be able to run and play as much as he used to, he still needs some form of movement and exercise. This will help him maintain his body weight and could help with his heart, lungs, and circulation. It’s best to talk with your veterinarian about what exercises are best for your pet, because you don’t want to push your pet into exercise he can’t handle.

Arthritis and joint pain can be an issue for pets of any age. There are supplements and medications for pets who are experiencing joint pain, so you will want to talk to your veterinarian to see what is the best course for your pet. Also consider utilizing AMCMA’s Integrated Pain Management Center in Maryland Heights. Activities such as the underwater treadmill for dogs, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and laser therapy can do wonders for a pet who is in pain.

Your pet’s dietary needs may change as he gets older too. If he isn’t as active as he used to be, your veterinarian may recommend a diet lower in calories so he doesn’t put on added pounds. Or, if your pet has had tooth extractions, he may do better with canned food or watered down kibble, which can be easier to eat.

As a pet parent, it can be hard watching your pet grow older. But there are things you and your veterinarian can do to help your pet be comfortable and happy.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at three locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.