How to Keep the Adventures Going With Your Senior Pets

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It can be heartbreaking to watch our beloved pet get older. Thankfully, with advances in veterinary medicine, and improved lifestyle habits, pets are generally experiencing longer lifespans than ever. However, with increased pet age comes change and age-related health concerns. It’s important to keep in mind the potential issues and how to h andle their changing needs so that you can maintain their quality of life and your enjoyment of them. Below are some dos and don’ts on how to keep the adventures going with your senior pets.

Do:

1. Keep regular veterinary appointments and adhere to medical advice

Senior pets require increased veterinary care and attention. This may include more frequent trips to your veterinarian to detect signs of physical and mental health problems, as well as recommended changes in diet and activity.

2. Monitor your pet’s well-being and watch for signs of stress

Though animals can’t speak our language, they can communicate signs of stress and discomfort. Many pets will exhibit behavioral changes as they age, which can indicate changes in how they are feeling and their overall well-being. 

Your pet may be less responsive to you and others if they are starting to lose their vision or hearing. Other behavioral signs may include confusion, isolation, and over-sensitivity. Monitoring your senior pet’s behavior will help you underst and what they may be trying to communicate concerning their well-being and stress levels.

3. Trust your instincts and adjust activity level

You know your pet better than anyone. As your pet ages, you should trust your instincts on their energy and capability. In this way, you can adjust their activity level so that you both can still enjoy little adventures, but at a slower pace. If you suspect that your senior pet is not feeling up to an activity, however, it’s best not to push them.

The best way to keep the adventures going with your senior pet is to provide them with the highest quality of life possible.

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Don’t:

1. Don’t ignore signs of aging and illness

It can be tempting to disregard or ignore the signs of aging and illness in our senior pets as a means of keeping the adventures going together. However, being in denial about your pet’s condition is a disservice to both them and you. Instead, it’s best to face any signs of aging and illness so that you can provide the proper treatment and care for your senior pet. Some symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness
  • Increased incontinence or “accidents”
  • Changes in fur or coat
  • Blood in urine or stools

If you notice any of these symptoms in your senior pet, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

2. Do not have unrealistic expectations

It’s underst andable to wish that your senior pet would bounce back to their younger self, full of energy and vitality. However, such unrealistic expectations can set you both up for disappointment and frustration.

Animals tend to be very aware of their owner’s emotions and frame of mind, and most pets wish to please their humans. Any unrealistic expectations are likely not to be met and cause additional stress for your senior pet.

Adjust your adventures with your senior pets to continue making enjoyable memories with your beloved older dog.
Adjust your adventures with your senior pets to continue making enjoyable memories with your beloved older dog.

3. Don’t withhold praise or affection

Just as your senior pet continues to love you, it’s essential to not withhold your love for them in the form of praise or affection. If anything, senior pets deserve even more love so that they underst and they are still an important and meaningful part of your life.

The Real Adventure Is Still Going Strong

Whether you can continue high activity levels with your senior pet or you need to slow the pace, it’s important to keep in mind that the real adventures are made up of the time you spend together. Our pets provide us with such joy, companionship, and love. Giving them our quality time, love, and attention—especially as they age—is the greatest thing we can do in return.

Renna - 19 Sep 2020, 12:15

great tips. i love it. i will try these with my dog. he is getting old ;(

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