Summer Tips for Senior Pets

iStock_000038423340_SmallDid you realize that most pets are considered seniors after the age of seven? While your older pet probably has a lot of life left in him or her, chances are good that your four-legged has some special needs that should be addressed; even if you don’t realize it. Though it is hard to admit that our pets are seniors, understanding and acknowledging their special needs can help your faithful friend to live a fuller, happier, and possibly even longer life.

Summer can be an especially difficult time for senior pets. Hot temperatures and increased activity levels can be challenging for older dogs and cats. Be sure to take those factors into consideration as you enjoy this summer with your pets.

Senior Pets and Summer Temperatures

The high temperatures of a Texas summer can be troublesome for all pets, but especially to senior pets, who may not be able to cool themselves as effectively as they once could. Take precautions to be sure that your older pet can keep cool by considering the following:

  • Try to spend your time outdoors in the early morning and evening hours, when it is coolest
  • Make sure that your pet always has access to a cool, shady area, and give your pet the ability to come indoors as he or she pleases
  • Pets should always have cool, fresh water available, consider placing a few bowls throughout your yard and home, and keep the water refreshed regularly
  • Never be tempted to leave any pet in a parked car – even just a few minutes can be deadly
  • Remember that pets do not wear shoes and that pavement, asphalt, and sand can get very hot, resulting in both hot paw pads and an increased inability to cool off (cats and dogs release heat through their feet)
  • Monitor your senior pet closely for signs of heat exhaustion, including heavy panting or breathing, disorientation, or diarrhea
  • Keeping Senior Pets Moving

    Most senior pets have some degree of arthritis or other underlying conditions, and as we spend more time outdoors and increase their activity level, this may become apparent. Too much activity too quickly is never a good thing for seniors. Be sure to increase your senior pet’s activity level gradually and pay attention to signs of discomfort.

    If you think your older pet may be demonstrating symptoms of arthritis or other discomfort, please let us know. We have many options and therapies that can help pets deal with pain. Some of these include:

  • Prescription medications
  • Nutraceuticals (nutritional supplements)
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Stem cell therapy  
  • While senior pets may have a harder time this summer due to their age, health, and mobility, that is no reason to not enjoy the sunshine and dog days of summer with them. Call us to schedule a check-up for your senior pet so that we can help you to identify any problems and discuss your concerns.With a little extra care we can help you to ensure that you and your senior pet can enjoy this summer and many more to come.