An older dog looking up thoughtfullyDespite the fact that aging brings certain changes to health and well-being, the idea that aging itself is a disease is a misconception. Many health issues associated with aging are avoidable with proper veterinary care and prevention.

November is senior pet wellness month! If you want the best life for your very best friend, the team at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital is here to help.

Senior Pet Wellness vs. Regular Wellness

Consistent preventive care is important for every animal, but this is especially true for older pets. It’s recommended that pets older than the age of 6-7 years receive biannual exams. This can help us identify any changes your pet may be experiencing due to their health. Remember, early detection is key to preventing problems from becoming worse.

Senior pets also need specific screenings for health issues related to aging–issues such as arthritis, kidney disease, and cancer. Diagnostics such as blood work, x-rays, and urinalysis are also important tools in discerning these conditions.

In veterinary medicine, we see a high rate of dental disease in pets older than 3 years of age, which can affect the heart, kidneys, and liver. This risk increases with age. This is why dental care is such a big part of overall pet wellness, especially for seniors.

Sadly, pain in pets often goes unnoticed. If your older pet is dealing with a chronic issue, our focus is on managing pain so your best friend can experience a high quality of life. Increasing your pet’s energy and overall health may include adjunct therapies, as well as a prescription diet and supplements to enhance well-being.

At-Home Senior Pet Care

Senior pet care doesn’t stop once you bring your pet in for a veterinary exam. Continue supporting your four-legged pal with these at-home care tips:

  • If your pet suffers from mobility issues, we recommend an orthopedic bed, a ramp for getting in and out of the car or up stairs, and raised food and water stations.
  • Attend to your pet’s dental health by brushing their teeth frequently (daily is preferred). Use a pet specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Many seniors struggle with obesity, so limit treats and avoid larger than recommended portions at meal time.
  • Exercise is important for senior pets, and a gentle walk is a good way to help keep them fit (ask us about alternative forms of exercise for your individual pet).
  • Keep your senior pet mentally stimulated by providing plenty of enriching games and toys.

If you notice any changes in your pet’s overall health or personality, please call us to schedule an appointment. Early detection is crucial for long-term health. We’re also more than happy to answer any questions you might have about senior pet wellness.