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Keeping Older Pets Happy

It can be truly heartbreaking to see your beloved pet struggle with some physical handicap due to the advancement of age. As it is with all living things, death is irreversible, the one thing that cannot be avoided.

This is not to say that an aging pet should be abandoned and left to its own devices. Such a lack of care is bound to result in an untimely death for your pet. As your favorite cat or hound gets older, it becomes imperative to take certain steps to keep it happy.

What are Older Pets?

As with all living creatures, the onset of age and the eventuality of death are natural occurrences. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) considers dogs of 6-7 years to be old. In the same vein, cats aged anywhere between 11 and 14 years are considered old.

However, the average varies depending on factors like genetics, size, and breed.

Steps to Take in Keeping Older Pets Happy​

If you want to prolong the life of your older pets and keep them happy as they age,

you should take the following steps.

At the Vet

Take vet visits seriously

The veterinary professionals of the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommend that pet owners take their older pets to the veterinary doctor every six months. This is crucial to help detect physiological anomalies and other common afflictions that beset them in old age.

The tests conducted can help detect worrying lumps and evaluate the sensitivity of sensory organs like the eyes and ears. Also important is the examination of the pet’s heart function.

Give them additional care and attention

As your pet gets older, physical attention and affection become even more important in their overall well-being. The physical attention you give is more than just for its mere sake- you should give your older pets more therapeutic massages, as it will help with joint pains.

In addition, you should consider brushing their coats and fur more regularly, especially for pets that find it difficult to self-groom.

Golden Retriever
dog food

Keep to a healthy diet

When your pets get older, you should probably begin to consider cutting down on the amount of unhealthy food you allow them to consume.

Fish oil pills and joint supplements are excellent for the heart and joints. If you have dogs, you can also give them vitamin C, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these supplements are great for the health of your pets’ brains, eyes, skin, and joints.

Play with new games and toys

This is especially important to maintain your pet’s mental alertness. Try to do apt research to discover the exact kinds of catch and fetch games that your pet likes. Keeping your pet mentally active will help to keep it happy and even prolong its life.

Dog in the Park
Black Dog

Pay attention to dentition

If your pet has dental disease, then you have an unhappy pet on your hands. Schedule regular vet exams for your older pet, and ensure to brush its teeth as often as you can.

If your old pet has become difficult to keep happy and unresponsive to you and their favorite toys, you might want to assess your pet’s quality of life. At River Valley Gateway, we can give you a second opinion on treatment options or let you know if it’s time to say goodbye. Book an appointment or call us for a home visit today.

River Valley Gateway Services


573 25 Road Grand Junction, CO 81505



Monday - Friday
9:00AM - 1:00PM &

2:00PM - 5:00PM

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