This is when your pet starts to slow down. Prevention of diseases and arthritis are very important.
- You should be switching your pet to a senior food at the age of 7-8 years old.
- Keep brushing the teeth!
- Make sure your pet has a comfortable bed to lie in and be sure food and water is easily accessible. At this age, your pets might have difficulty navigating due to eyesight failure or mobility issues. Stairs can create a potential hazard so do not force your pet to take stairs to access food or water or they may not get enough.
- Larger breed dogs may benefit from elevated feeding stations as an arthritic or stiff neck can make it more difficult to bend down.
- Pet insurance should come in handy at this stage if your pet has arthritic changes or other medical issues.
- Biannual examinations are recommended. Vaccinations will be discussed, and if your pet’s age and history indicate the need, they will be administered. Blood tests yearly or twice yearly can help manage health by early detection.
- Continue on internal (heartworm and intestinal) and external (flea and tick) parasite prevention. Stool should be checked twice a year and a heartworm test performed annually.
- Pain relief for arthritis in older pets can make a huge difference in his/her life. New advances are occurring constantly in this area. If you are proactive in this area, you will be easily rewarded by seeing your pet experience a new joy for life.