How to Care for Aging and Elderly Animals – One Green Planet

Older animals are precious and should be loved completely. They have poured their love onto us their whole lives, and now it is their turn to be spoiled with love. They might be more grey, slow, and tired, but they are still the pet that you raised and loved for years. Now they need you to really take care of them and help them through these older years.

Taking care of aging and elderly animals can be difficult. It can be sad to see your pet getting older, and with age comes a new list of needs. That is why it is important to be ready for these changes and to know how to care for your animal.

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If you are at a loss as to how you should care for an older pet, these tips should help. They don’t ask much, just that you prioritize them, make them feel loved, and treat them with compassion.

Prioritize Them

Older animals are going to need more time and care. That is just a fact. They are frailer and oftentimes, their health isn’t what it used to be. Taking care of them needs to quickly become a priority that is high on your list of priorities. They aren’t young anymore and are going to need a different kind of care. This might mean leaving them alone less,  prioritizing regular exercise, and keeping them company more often.

We often forget that we have a broad life of our own, but to our pets, we are their life. So, the least that all of us can try to do is spend more time with our aging pets.

Make Lifestyle Changes

With these new and unfamiliar changes in your animal comes the need for lifestyle changes. Your pet is going to naturally require more of your time and effort, which means that other aspects of your life need to be rearranged. This is especially important for aging animals that are also developing health issues. 

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Certain lifestyle factors will need to change according to what your pet is needing. This might be frequent vet visits or physical therapy. It could also mean daily doses of medicine or a specialty diet.

It is important to be prepared to make the necessary changes to your life in order to take better care of your pet. This can be a scary process for them that they cannot fully understand, and they will need your time and love.

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Be Aware

With a pet that is getting older, it is important to be to keep an eye on them more often. Animals can be quiet and do not always show signs of discomfort that humans do. This can make it very difficult to tell when something isn’t quite right with your pet.

Changes in their mood and health will often show through in small warning signs, such as wobbliness, more sleeping, difficulty standing up, visible discomfort, and a loss of appetite. These signs are all very easy to miss, which is why it is important to keep an eye on your elderly animals for any noticeable changes.

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Just being aware can make a huge difference, especially if they are developing more serious health issues. Arthritis, for example, is a pretty common ailment amongst pets that have been active their whole life. If caught early enough, this painful condition can be treated, and the progression can be slowed.

Be Patient

Another important thing to remember with an aging pet is to be patient. Their body is dramatically changing, and they are going to be a bit different than how they used to be.

Your animal might walk more slowly or feel too tired to play or run around. They might also start to have difficulties going to the bathroom or keeping up with their hygiene. They cannot help it if they start to stink more or trip and spill the water bowl. This process is new to them as well, and they need you to be as understanding as possible.

Have Regular Vet Visits

As animals get older, they develop health issues and thus, require more frequent vet visitsGenerally, it is a good plan to have several vet visits a year for an animal of any age, but elderly animals especially need to be looked checked up on more frequently just to be safe.

If your pet gets very anxious or fearful when going to the vet, you could consult your veterinarian about going less frequently or doing virtual visits. You do not want to do anything unnecessary that can cause them distress. The best thing to do is to decide on a schedule with your vet that is just right for your aging animal.

Make Sure They Feel Loved

As your pet ages, they may not be able to play, run, or adventure like they used to, but they still want your love and commitment.

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Possibly the most important thing that you need to do for any elderly animal is to cherish them. There is no way of knowing how many years may be left with them, so every moment needs to count.

Shower them with love and affection, and their time will be happy and carefree. No matter what physical state they might be in. Just make sure that they know that they are just as loved now as they used to be.

Even though they are changing, your love and commitment to them aren’t.

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