How to Care for Senior Pets

As pets grow older; their routine, lifestyle, and nutritional requirements change. One of the most common signs that comes with aging is a pet’s loss of appetite. Despite this, pet owners must continue to ensure that their pets meet their nutritional requirements every day; otherwise, these pets are at risk of developing serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease.

Committed to educating the Filipino pet community on nutrition and proper pet care, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) shares insights on how pet owners can take care of their senior pets.

Nutritional Requirements of Senior Pets

Every pet requires a well-balanced diet, regardless of their age. Many commercially-available pet food is scientifically developed by experts to provide pets the required nutrients they need to stay healthy every day.

As pets age, they typically become more sedentary; and a well-balanced diet becomes a must for senior pets. Some pet owners avoid protein. However, this nutrient is important to help fuel their pets’ muscles and avoid muscle loss, another common problem among senior pets. Some pet owners may also see food specifically formulated for senior pets, which is often lower in fat and calories.

Much like younger pets, senior dogs and cats must avoid toxic treats which include grapes, raisins, onions, chocolates, or anything with caffeine in it. Pet owners are also discouraged from giving their older pets hard food such as bones and hooves. To better understand an aging pet’s diet, pet owners are encouraged to consult their local veterinarian.

Senior Dog

Photo from Pexels

Everyday Exercise

Another common sign of aging in pets is their energy level. As pets age, their energy levels drop and many pet owners may find them becoming more lethargic compared to when they were younger. This adjustment in their pet’s lifestyle may lead to obesity and other health issues. To avoid this, pet owners must provide their four-legged companions the opportunity to exercise every day. Although running with older pets may not be suitable, pet owners may opt to take longer walks and light jogs around the neighborhood as an alternative to ensure their beloved senior pets continue to get their daily dose of exercise.

Aging pets may also begin to experience sore and stiff joints. In consulting with a veterinarian, pet owners can develop mobility exercises to help keep their pet safely moving if he or she is experiencing joint point.

Veterinary Visits

Regardless of a pet’s age, pet owners must regularly check in with their veterinarians to make sure that their pets are in tiptop condition. These visits can help pet owners establish the proper diet and exercise regimen, as well as acquire vaccinations to protect their pets from
fleas, ticks, worms, and other parasites.

These visits should happen on a regular basis and not just when a pet is sick. For pets with underlying illnesses, a regular trip to the vet will ensure that they are receiving proper treatment to secure a better quality of life.

Pet Food Institute (PFI) is committed to educating pet owners about proper pet nutrition to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign, in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP); PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.

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