Your Senior Pet’s Christmas Wish List December 6, 2018
Your pet, like most loved ones, would like comfort and joy for the holidays but how do you provide for those needs?
The tube of tennis balls that were once a favorite of your dog may not have the same draw they once did. The toy mice which your kitty once enjoyed playing with may also have lost their appeal. There are, however, many opportunities to allow your pet to experience good times as a senior pet.
🎄🎁 Gift idea one: your time 🎁🎄
The winter and its accompanying holidays provide many opportunities to be out and about with friends and family that we may not see much the rest of the year. Such family members may include your pets. Take time to watch your favorite holiday program with your lap dog. Cats of all ages generally enjoy helping with the wrapping of gifts, even if it appears they are acting as paper weights. Just make sure ribbons are not accessible to your kitty if chewing of such items is an issue for her.
🎄🎁 Gift idea two: improved warmth 🎁🎄
Older pets, including cats, often experience some degree of arthritis as they age. Warmer joints tend to be more comfortable. While not every pet has the luxury of a fireplace within the home there are other good methods to provide warmth. Self warming pads that reflect body heat back to them are often appreciated by cats in particular. Sweaters and t-shirts specific to their size and shape are welcome accessories for both cats and dogs. You can even use dog socks to warm older feet and provide more stability for walking. Refrain from using heat packs or heat pads as animals with low mobility can be burned relatively quickly.
🎄🎁 Gift idea three: mobility support 🎁🎄
As pets age their domain tends to become smaller. Not going up and down stairs as frequently or across certain slicker surfaces is a common thing pets do as they age. Yoga mats along slick floors, ramps leading to the yard, kitty scratching posts with short stairs that lead to a platform are all good additions to reopen your aging pet’s access to more places.
🎄🎁 Gift idea four: health assessment 🎁🎄
As another year comes to a close it’s a good time to discuss with your veterinarian your pet’s changing needs as they age. Many families think that an older pet is just slower than they used to be and all is well if they have a good appetite and still go outside or use the litter box as expected. However, there is much that can be learned through a good physical examination. It’s also a common misconception to think that blood work is for pets that will be undergoing anesthesia and therefore is not necessary if there is not a need or desire for an anesthetic procedure. However, knowing a pet’s blood values can help in determining proper diet, medication options, and support needs as they age. If you believe your pet can’t or won’t do well with a car ride to the vet, multiple home care options exist.