As pet owners, we know our pets better than anyone else. We’re familiar with their daily routine, habits, likes, and dislikes, and it can seem like we’ve memorized every whisker, strand of fur, and precious paw pad. However, even the most astute pet parent can’t detect health problems that lurk beneath the surface.
How are you to know when your pet’s liver or kidneys aren’t functioning properly? How do you know whether their joints are beginning to feel the effects of arthritis? That’s where annual pet wellness exams come in!
Winter isn’t exactly brutal in Montgomery, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience our share of ice, wind, and freezing temps. Although people may enjoy the seasonal change and relish the opportunity to wear boots and sweaters, senior pets are more likely to experience aches and pains, flare-ups of chronic conditions, or even depression.
As the temps drop this time of year, let Carriage Hills Animal Hospital help you tackle winter senior pet care with our expert tips!
As pet parents, we are intimately aware of the deep and startlingly powerful bond we share with our pets. Our four-legged friends become interwoven into the fabric of our lives; not only do we care for them daily and make decisions about every aspect of their lives, they also serve as guardians of our homes, playmates to our children, and faithful companions to us. This intense connection we have with our pets is precisely the reason it hurts so much to let them go during the end of life. Continue…
We would all like for cancer to just disappear off the face of the Earth, but statistics show that it is being diagnosed now more than ever, for both pets and people. Almost half of disease-related pet deaths every year can be blamed on cancer, and 1 in 4 dogs will have some type of tumor in his or her lifetime.
Cancer is scary, but many cancers can be cured and many more can be successfully managed. When your pet has cancer, it isn’t always a death sentence. Keep reading to learn what to expect when your pet is diagnosed with cancer. Continue…
If you’ve ever felt lumps or bumps on your pet, you know it’s a moment filled with concern. While there could be a variety of explanations – and, thankfully, many lumps and bumps are harmless – it’s important to act quickly and let us examine your pet to zero-in on the cause or related illness.
The risk and uncertainty is a tough place to be in. When all you want is the best care and outcome for your pet, an exam by your veterinarian is the best way to either relieve your fears or be the start of a treatment plan. Early detection, diagnosis, and action can prime the way toward a positive outcome for your pet – and a longer, healthier life.
As your adult pet reaches the age of 6 or 7, he or she is no longer the spry pup or kitten he or she once was. In fact, for many pets this milestone marks the beginning of his or her “golden years”. At this age, more effort is needed in helping your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle, including an increase in senior pet care.
Senior Pets at the Vet
Once a pet reaches senior status, we recommend a change in your pet’s wellness exam schedule. Instead of the annual exams your pet has had in the past, we encourage pet owners to transition to bi-annual exams, instead. Continue…
For many senior pets, winter can be a difficult, and potentially dangerous, season. Cold weather, an abundance of seasonal people food, and a potential lack of exercise can all affect your pet’s physical and emotional well-being. But with a little forward thinking and some extra care and attention, winter does not have to be a hardship when it comes to senior pet care.
Weathering Winter Weather
Many geriatric animals have less strength and muscle reserves. So, quite often, other underlying problems may surface during the winter months. But helping your senior pet through the winter does not need to be difficult. It’s likely you already know what needs your pet will have based on the health issues he or she is already experiencing.
For many senior pets, the aches and pains of arthritis are often felt more intensely during the winter months. Chilled muscles and joints do not move and glide smoothly, and often it can seem as if the chill in the air can permeate right down to the bone.
Helping senior pets suffering from arthritis can be as simple as providing daily, short walks to limber tired muscles. Keeping older pets active, despite the winter weather, is important for both your pet’s physical and emotional health. If your pet’s feet seem to be particularly sensitive to the cold ground, consider getting him or her paw protection, such as the booties made by Ruffwear. Not only will these boots help keep your pet’s feet warm, but they will also protect his or her paws from the small cuts and abrasions caused by ice and snow.
Likewise, help your arthritic pet by keeping him or her off of cold, hard floors by using padded orthopedic beds with plush coverings. Be certain to keep them in places your pet loves to curl up.
Finally, keep in mind that older pets are less agile and more likely to fall, so monitor your dog as it navigates steps to prevent falls. Consider using a portable ramp or carpeted stairs both inside and out to help your pet get to where he or she needs to go.
Food, Water, and Shelter
During the winter months it is vitally important that pets have easy access to nutritious food, clean and un-frozen water, and warm, dry shelter. This is especially true for senior pets, which are more prone to the potential hazards that frostbite, hypothermia, malnutrition and dehydration can bring.
Senior pets especially need to be well protected from the winter weather and should be housed indoors at all times throughout the winter months.
Likewise, be certain to monitor, and if necessary restrict, your aging pet’s intake of human food, especially around the holidays. The rich, fatty foods typically served at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the like can be overwhelming to your pet’s digestive system and can make your pet quite ill.
Keeping Your Senior Pet Happy
Like us, many pets can get a little blue during the winter months. This is especially true of senior pets. Often, cold and stormy weather can keep both humans and animals indoors, reducing the amount of exercise and activity in your pet’s daily life.
Keep your senior pet happy and healthy by staying active, despite the cold weather. Even a quick walk around the block will get your pet’s blood pumping and help to clear his or her head with the fresh air and familiar scents of the neighborhood.
As winter approaches, please feel free to contact us if you are concerned about your senior pet’s health or safety. We are always happy to help.
For many senior pets, osteoarthritis can be just as common an affliction as it is for humans. And, just like us, the aches and pains associated with the condition can be both painful and debilitating. Your pet’s golden years should be a time of quiet and supportive warmth, and it pains us to think that your beloved pet may be suffering. Continue…