Senior Pet Care: Wellness

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

Pets age at a much faster rate than we do as humans. As your pets get older, there are many factors regarding their health and wellness that need to be considered. Some health problems that face senior pets are easier to spot and identify, but other issues are not always visible to their owners, so it is more important than ever at this stage in their lives to keep up to date on annual wellness screenings. 

One of the most important ways that we monitor for less-visible health conditions during wellness exams is through testing your pet’s blood and stool. These tests allow us to detect the presence of parasites, abnormal liver or kidney function, diabetes, thyroid disorders, blood cell count, and other conditions that disproportionately affect older animals. The earlier a problem is detected, the sooner treatment can begin, helping your pet feel better and potentially helping them live longer.

Another important factor in your aging pet’s wellness and care is their diet and exercise habits. Many older pets tend to slow down and become less energetic as they age, and while they may not be able to move like they used to, it’s important to maintain some form of exercise or physical activity to keep them healthy. Talk with your veterinarian about what forms and levels of exercise are most appropriate for your pet and their abilities. In some cases, it may also be a good idea to reduce the calorie intake for a pet with reduced mobility to avoid putting on extra weight, which can then lead to further health problems, stress on joints, etc.

Be sure to schedule your pet’s wellness exams well in advance! Veterinarians across the country are generally understaffed and experiencing longer than normal wait times for appointments, especially non-emergency ones. Sometimes it becomes easy for pet owners to skip out on these kinds of visits if there’s not an immediately noticeable issue, but your pet will thank you for keeping an eye out for underlying health problems as they enter this stage of their lives, and there’s nothing better than peace of mind! 

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