Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding choices many of us make. The unconditional love that a pet can give us can be just what everyone needs. Some of us are just meant to be animal lovers and some of us are not. Either way is just fine but for those of us that fall into the trap of just wanting to snuggle each and every furry little face we come across, know just how much love we have for animals.
We all seek out lots of information when we first get our new puppy or kitten, but it seems as they get older our quest for knowledge seems to subside. But why? Do we just assume our pet will age naturally and as things come up there isn’t anything we can do just because it is a part of getting older? Well, in fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes we can make as pet owners.
Age is not a disease, it is something that happens and as much as we try to deny it we will all get older but slowing down is not always a sign of getting old. There are generally reasons why your pet is less active, sleeping more, eating less and rarely is just due to old age. Animals are very stoic especially our kitty friends and it is part of their nature to hide things so trying to decide whether our best friend is aging or in fact has something going on can be very difficult at times.
If your pet is sleeping more it could very well be because they are painful so instead of dealing with the pain they choose to just not be as active. Many people in conversation will say “yes he tends to sleep more because he’s getting old and that’s just what they do” but in fact he could be sleeping more because it’s painful to walk, or he is ill and doesn’t feel well enough to run and jump around like he used to. Accepting that your older pet is doing something just because they are getting old can be a mistake that leads to more serious issues.
Having your older pet examined on a more regular basis, discussing things that have changed over the last little while with your veterinarian can help flag every treatable issue with your pet. Pets age much faster than us so seeing your veterinarian only once a year may be acceptable when they are an adult but as they reach their senior years we want to ensure we are catching things as soon as they occur.
Checking in with your veterinarian more regularly with your senior pet can help catch any issues early and either help prevent them from developing or being able to treat them in their early stages, as we all know prevention is key! Having a happy healthy senior pet will allow your four-legged best friend to live a longer more enjoyable life and the more time we can spend with them enriches both our lives.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your senior pet do not hesitate to contact us at Hillcrest Animal Hospital, and we would be more than happy to help get your senior pet back on track of being happier and healthier!
Written by Stephanie Schruder, Clinic Manager