As part of our My Pet Can senior campaign, we’ve put together some tips for supporting your golden oldie!
Comfort is key
• Provide somewhere comfortable, warm and cosy for your pet to sleep that meets their specific needs.
• Make sure everything they need is easily accessible and provide extra water sources to help them stay hydrated throughout the day.
• Your cat’s sleeping, scratching and feeding/watering spots should be within easy reach.
• Cat or rabbit litter trays should be easy to get into, with lower sides and suitable litter. Non-slip mats and steps are also helpful.
• Rugs and carpets prevent slipping and are easier for older dogs to walk on.
The right diet
• Your pet’s dietary needs will change as they get older, and your vet will be able to advise you on the best options.
• Monitor how much your pet is eating and drinking, and mention any changes in eating and toileting habits or weight to your vet to rule out underlying medical issues.
• Older cats need easy access to food and should be fed little and often. They may also experience a reduced appetite and weight loss, which can be caused by health issues, a decline in smell and taste or reduced gut efficiency.
• Try feeding dogs with age-appropriate interactive feeding toys, so that have to work to eat.
• Ensure food and water bowls are at the ideal height for your pet. Dogs may be more comfortable eating from a bowl raised to chest height, whereas cats prefer to crouch and eat, so will be better suited to a lower bowl.
Meet their changing needs
• Older dogs need regular exercise and mental stimulation, so walk them little and often (in a coat in colder weather) and keep them at a healthy weight. Letting them sniff, explore and play with toys and feeders also keeps them entertained and mentally stimulated.
• If your dog seems stiff or struggles with stairs or getting into cars, non-slip ramps and steps can help.
• Gentle grooming allows you to check for lumps, bumps aches and pains, and helps older cats or rabbits who may struggle to groom themselves properly.
• Use extra steps or non-slip ramps to make sure your rabbit can access their shelter or sleeping areas easily.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
• Maintaining regular activity and a healthy weight gives your pet a better chance of looking and acting youthful – just like humans!
• A decline in eyesight or hearing can cause confusion, so try to reduce changes in their environment and the layout of furniture.
• Regular dental checks are essential for checking for signs of painful dental diseases.
• Older pets might need their nails trimming more often, especially if they’re exercising less. If your cat struggles to retract their claws and they thicken or grow into the pad, our team will be able to help.