Looking After Your Senior Pets
Generally pets are classed as senior once they reach 7-8 years old, although it can be earlier for some breeds. Just like with ourselves, their needs can change and it is worth ensuring that we are keeping them as comfortable as possible, particularly in the colder weather.
You may find that your senior dog needs more rest than they did before and need the toilet more frequently. Try walking them more often but choosing a shorter route rather than one longer walk. They will feel the cold more and their beds should be kept away from any draughts. They may not like walking across slippy tiled or lino flooring so consider putting down a runner or similar if necessary. Stiffness, failing hearing and eyesight can be common but discuss any changes with your vet as there may be things we can recommend that could help. Any other changes in their health or usual routine should also be discussed so we can check for any other conditions that may need monitoring. You may not notice any of these signs until your dog is in to double digits but perhaps making small adjustments early will help your dog feel comfortable longer.
Cats may also like to sleep more (is that possible for some I hear you ask!?) or their sleeping pattern may change. They may not go out as much as they did previously and you may need to change litter trays more frequently as a consequence. Cats always love a cosy, well padded bed but ensure it is in a sheltered quiet spot, perhaps higher up (as long as they can still access it easily). You may need to help your cat with daily grooming as they find it harder to reach places and similarly, keep an eye on their claws as they may not get worn down as much. Special foods can be considered to help with delicate digestion or stiffness for example. Any changes in usual habits or eating/drinking should be discussed with your vet in case anything needs to be investigated. You know your cat best so look out for their potentially changing needs and let us know if you need any support!