woman carrying a senior cat on her lap while the doctor checks up on it

Aging Pets: How to Take Care Of Your Pets That Have Reached Seniority

Seniority in pets is part of the cycle of life, and it’s inevitable. They will reach a particular age when they are less likely to move around and be active. They might also become more susceptible to all sorts of diseases.

Taking care of your senior pets will take a lot from you, but it’s vital to their survival. Here’s what you need to know about pet seniority and how to take care of them once they’ve reached that age.

When Does Seniority for Pets Start?

There’s still no clear age when certain pets reach the age of seniority. A common theory that’s been going around is that one human year is equal to seven dog years. Still, this theory doesn’t work on every dog or every pet. This is because it depends on the breed of the dog and the species of your pet. Some pets can live pretty long, such as parrots which can live 30 to 50 years. On the other hand, reptilian pets can live for 90 years!

However, seniority hits almost all pets all the same. It can affect their behavior, physical activity, and overall mental health. Unfortunately, these also deteriorate increasingly over time, making them even more challenging to manage the older they’ve become. So let’s first discuss the change in your pet’s behavior.

A Change in Behavior

Animals change in behavior the older they’ve become. This becomes very obvious for mammals such as dogs and cats. This change in behavior can be pretty erratic but are easily manageable.

Changes in behavior for dogs and cats are more evident because they are usually related to physical issues in life. For example, some dogs might become restless at night, while cats might spend a lot more time outside your home. Sometimes, your dog might be more active than ever, while other times, they would sleep all day long. These are all regular changes in behavior to accommodate their seniority.

However, reptilians are less likely to experience a change in behavior once they’ve reached a much older age. This is the same for most fishes and birds. They might be less active than before, but aside from that, they should be behaving the same way they’ve been behaving their entire life.

Deteriorating Physical Health

One of the most common signs of aging among all living things is deteriorating physical health. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid it no matter what you do, which is the same for your aging pets.

Many dogs and cats can gain arthritis once they’ve grown older. This can affect their overall mobility and daily physical activity. They might also become more susceptible to all kinds of cancers. Moreover, their sensory functions, such as vision and hearing, can deteriorate over time. This means they are likely to walk into walls or even into you when walking around your home.

If you have reptilian pets, you’ll notice that they start moving around less and bask more often. This means that they would spend more time under the sun, not moving at all. Likewise, fishes tend to move less, while birds sleep more. These are all apparent signs of deteriorating physical health. But these can also affect their mental health.

Woman holding a dog's paws

Deteriorating Mental Health

Lastly, your pets’ mental health also deteriorates the older they’ve become. Your dogs can develop canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), leading them to forget about you. As a result, you might see them bark at you or get scared at times. They can also get a lot more anxious and restless at various times of the day.

Deteriorating mental health is less evident for reptiles and fishes since they have limited cognitive abilities. This is the same for birds.

Don’t Make Too Many Changes

To accommodate your aging pet, you mustn’t make too many changes in their environment or even in their diet. This also means that you shouldn’t move from one place to another too much because older pets can have a much harder time adapting. If you need to proceed, you should hire a pet transportation service to ensure that the move goes smoothly. They’ll ensure that your pet won’t suffer too much anxiety and will be as comfortable as possible during the move.

Keep an Eye Out on Them

It’s also crucial that you keep an eye out for them whenever you can. You can expect some erratic changes in behavior, but constant changes in behavior can be a sign of disease. You must keep track of these changes so that you can report them once you’ve visited your vet.

Give Them Health Supplements

Senior pets require more vitamins and supplements than ever. Make sure to introduce these supplements to them the moment your vet has prescribed them. This should make them resilient to all sorts of diseases, including cancer, so don’t forget to give it to them when they need it.

Everyone ages, so do your pets. It’s part of the circle of life. You must put more care into them during this time than ever.

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