Preventative care, also called wellness care, is an integral part of keeping your senior pet healthy. Senior pet wellness involves taking steps to keep your pet healthy such as examinations, vaccinations, and other treatments that can help ward off illness. But what does it mean for a pet to be "senior?" And why is this type of care so important? The veterinary professionals at Augusta Ranch Animal Hospital in Mesa, AZ will clarify this.
Animals Age Differently than Humans
Veterinarians define a senior animal as one who's aged seven years or more. When pets reach their older years, they may experience changes in behavior or activity level due to age-related illnesses such as arthritis, kidney disease, dental problems, and cancer. These conditions require different types of treatment than those given when the pet was younger but are still treatable with proper veterinary care.
Senior Pet Care is Preventative
Caring for your senior pet starts well before your pet turns seven. The more preventative care an animal has throughout its life, the easier it is for our veterinarians to spot difficulties or warning signs of what might need to be treated as they age. Preventative care still includes routine vaccinations and dental cleanings but can also now integrate other things such as:
- Switching to specialty foods with different nutrient blends
- Switching to food that is formulated to break up kidney stones
- Teeth removal when necessary
- Adding vet-approved vitamins or supplements to your dog's diet to help ease arthritis
- Modifying your pet's exercise routine
As your pet ages, its routine care will change slightly. Additional screenings for various diseases will be needed at least once a year as they continue in age. Specific markers for illness can be obtained early, and treatment can start earlier, giving your pet the best chances at reduced pain and quicker recovery. Regular pet screening becomes vital for pets as they age. Our veterinarians are trained to spot other indicators that you won't see or hear on your own.
Senior Pets Need More Attention
As your pet gets older, it begins to slow down. However, pets don't exhibit pain the same way people do. You should reduce or stop activities that leave them stiff or limping later the same day or the next day. You should also watch and your pet’s indications of needing rest. Watch your pet for changes in how they sleep and consume food and water. Modifying your pet’s routine when necessary will ensure your pet lives the happiest and healthiest possible life.
Contact Our Veterinarians in Mesa for Senior Pet Care
For more information on senior pet care or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians in Mesa, contact Augusta Ranch Animal Hospital today at (480) 380-6710.