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Six Important Tips to Care for Senior Pets

November 21, 2021

Pets are living longer and, just like humans, are affected by changes that come with aging. Understanding the process and sheltering aging pets is essential so that they can enjoy an old age with comfort, well-being and a lot of love.

The first signs of aging can be noticeable, such as whitish hairs in the muzzle area and around the eyes, and decreased energy for some routine activities, such as pranks and long walks in case of dogs.

To ensure a healthy and happy aging for the pet, Dr. Priscila Brabec, Veterinary doctor and Product manager - Animal Nutrition at Avert Saúde Animal, gives some important tips for pet owners:

1 – Build a closer relationship with your trusted veterinary doctor                                                                                                             

Over the years, physical and emotional changes happen in pets and, just like humans, they are more prone to illnesses. Periodic visits to the vet should be made more frequently (every 6 months), as well as the routine testing.

2 – Take care of the pet nutrition.

An age-specific diet combined with nutritional supplements can help maintain the pet physical and mental health. Supplements containing antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and mineral selenium, as well as essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 (EPA and DHA), help fight free radicals and the proper brain function.

3 – Keep things easily accessible.

Aging affects joints, and the energy to jump on the couch or bed is no longer the same. If the pet is used to going up these places, facilitate its access with a small ladder or ramp specific for pets, for example. Facilitating access to water by spreading bowls around the house helps keeping the pet hydrated; avoid “obstacles” in the pet’s path.

4 – Attention to new members

The energy and mood are no longer the same. So, avoid forcing coexistence with younger or more agitated animals; a forced interaction can cause stress and fatigue. Perhaps this is not the ideal time to have a new pet at home, nor to force new friendships.

5 – Watch out for changes

Senior pets are more sensitive to changes. Therefore, avoid changing the environment they live in and, if necessary, make only small adjustments to help their access to bathroom, bed, food and water, for example. 

6 – Encourage physical and mental activity

Massage, brushing, home and street walks are very beneficial and greatly appreciated by the pet at all life stages. Creating a routine with the senior pet, respecting limits and duration, is important for its physical and mental health. Training some commands like “sit”, “lay down” and investing in interactive toys and slow feeders also help stimulate the pet's mind.

Certainly, multiplying affection, love and patience to care for senior pets is also in this list, as well as other important tips given on the Avert podcast, available on Spotify:  Avert Cast

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