How To Care For Your Aging Pet – Are You Prepared To Face The End?

  • Pets age at a faster rate than their humans. Be aware of the warning signs that your beloved pet is getting on in years.
  • Despite what most pet owners think, animals can't talk. Learn to see what signals they send out as they approach old age.
  • Most pet owners outlive their beloved companion animals. Be prepared to grieve for them as you would a family member or friend.

Family pets are usually well loved, but as they age, it may not be understood that they aren’t like us humans. Which means that after only a decade or so, they need even more care than they did as pups and kittens. Here are some pointers to keep in mind as your beloved family pets begin aging more rapidly than you might think.

There was a time when the expense of calling a veterinarian was only justified for domesticated animals like horses and cattle. But, these days, some pet owners will go to any length (and pay top dollar) for advanced health care even some humans don’t have access to. Vets know that. Don’t be conned. Always go for a second opinion if the estimated bill gets to be too high.

Maintain A Safe and Sound Environment For Your Aging Pet: A stable environment is even more important to older pets. They like security and comfort just as much as we do.

Provide Preventive Medical Care For Your Aging Pet: Getting, and staying ahead of, potential health problems due to aging is important. Stay on top of it.

Get To Know Your Vet: Over the course of a 10-20 year lifespan (and sometimes beyond) try to stay with one vet and get to know them as well as you do anyone who’s in your life that long.

Understand Pet Aging: Dogs age six times faster than humans and cats are about triple. There’s a reason they call them “Dog years.”

Increase Routine Vet Visits As Pets Age: Younger pets may need only an annual or bi-annual checkup. Older pets can benefit by you stepping up the interval between visits.

Keep Aging Pets As Active As Possible: Don’t overdo it, but a good walk or a bit of playful activity is just as good for an aging dog or cat as it is for us.

Watch Your Aging Pet’s Weight: Put a bowl of food down in front of most animals and they’ll finish it off whether they need it or not. As pets get older, only feed them when they let you know they’re hungry.

Remember that scary Stephen King book and movie called ‘Pet Semetary’? Well, it’s a real thing. It’s not unusual for a beloved family pet to get the full treatment after they pass on. But, if they come back looking a little disheveled… RUN!

Balance Your Aging Pet’s Diet: Some pets can lose a taste for foods they’ve never turned their noses up at. Try varying their diet to keep up their vitality.

Don’t Play Rough With Your Aging Pet: They’re not pups and kittens any more. You wouldn’t expect Grandma to run a marathon, right?

Monitor Your Aging Pet’s Behavior: As pets age they sometimes become distempered, usually due to pain. Be on the lookout for any significant changes in personality.

Know When To Let Go Of Your Aging Pet: Pets can’t tell you where it hurts or why. They just endure. Consult your vet and make the hard choice if it seems their quality of life is diminished.

Decide On What To Do With Your Aging Pet’s Remains: Pets give us great joy and their memories can be cherished throughout the rest of our lives. From simple backyard burial, cremation, or all the way up to an expensive mausoleum, decide on how you want to remember your aging and beloved pet before the toughest decisions have to be made at a time when you might (and understandably so) be going through a sorrowful period.

After all, pets are people too….

Do you have any other tips on how to care for your aging pet?

Let us know with a comment below! 

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Reid Moore

Reid Moore is a Freelance Blogger retired from the USAF who lives in Riverside, California. Reid Moore has been writing online since 1996 on a wide variety of topics including News, Sports, Politics, Tech, Gaming, Autos, Popular Culture, Science, Music, Poetry, Art, Literature, the Paranormal, the Outdoors, Travel, Nature, Pets, Animals and Wildlife. So, naturally, in his spare time, Reid Moore can be found taking a well deserved nap...
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