This Blog is dedicated to the people who live in and around Harfield Village, the articles herein have been written by locals who either work or live in the area. It is run in conjunction with the Harfield Village website and regular Newsletter and is sponsored by Norgarb Properties.
It seems that these days people are living to a ripe old age, we are healthier and more active for longer and, because of the advances in veterinary medicine our pets are too! So here are some tips on how you can help your pet get the most out of the golden years!
HOW OLD IS OLD?
We generally divide a pet’s life into four stages:
paediatric, adult, senior and geriatric. Depending on the breed of animal the
time the pet experiences these stages will vary. For example, large breed dogs
tend to live a shorter life and are considered ‘senior’ at around 5-6 years of
age, whereas smaller breeds are considered ‘senior ’between the ages of
7-8yres.For cats its around 7-11 years.
It is at this senior stage that the body begins to show the
subtle signs of aging that often go undetected by the owner.
CHRONIC DISEASE AND THE HEALTH CHECK
At this senior stage of your pet’s life there are many
underlying health issues, such as the kidney disease, heart disease and
arthritis, that can be picked up by screening at a general health check. If
your pet seems to be ‘slowing down’ or isn’t eating as well as he used to don’t
just accept this as normal as it may be suffering from early arthritis or just
need a good teeth clean!
Getting your senior dog or cat checked allows us to help
your pet have the healthiest happiest old age possible.
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!
Good nutrition is just as important for your senior pet as
it is for your puppy.
As your pet ages you may find that it is no longer as active
as it used to be. Studies have shown that the energy requirements of your pet
decreases from 7 years onwards and it is often at this stage in your pet’s life
that weight gain becomes a concern. Obesity is detrimental to your pet’s
wellbeing at any life stage but as your pet ages, being overweight adds further
stress to heart, lungs and arthritic joints. In its geriatric years (from about
13 years onwards) your pet may become underweight due to muscle loss and
reduced digestibility of nutrients such as protein and fats.
Therefore, it is
important to feed a diet that has been scientifically formulated to take into
consideration the nutritional needs of your aging pet. Many diets are available
that aid in the control of diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, thyroid
deficiency and cognitive disorder to name but a few.
GIVE ME A SMILE!
One of the saddest things we see in practice is pets that
are extremely loved but neglected because they are OLD! They no longer get
groomed or bathed but …..
One of the worst areas of neglect that we see is your pets
Not all dogs and cats have dental problems but by the time
they reach the senior years many do need a good tooth clean. Your dog or cat’s
breath should not smell bad all the time! When the teeth are bad (such as in
the picture above) and covered in tartar the mouth is full of bacteria which
your pet’s immune system must try to combat on a daily basis. This does affect
the wellbeing of your pet!
So next time your aging dog decides he doesn’t want to go
for that run or your cat no longer wants to jump onto the kitchen counter book
an appointment with your vet!