How to Help Your Aging Pet

As our beloved pets get older their abilities to run, jump and even walk decrease. Their bones become weaker and may become arthritic. Some pets may experience dizziness which may cause them to fall and stumble. This may lead to accidents outside of the litter box, things being knocked over, and a decrease in jumping up and down off of things like the bed and couches.  Unfortunately this can lead to more serious things like injury or even broken bones right before your eyes.

What we can do as their loving owners is make life more accommodating for them?
Some simple steps include:

  • If your pet is overweight, weight loss is a great start.  The more weight on the joints the harder it is for the pet.
  • Get a litter box with a lower lip making it easier to step in and out of.
  • Purchase or make a ramp or stairs for beds and couches.  Try to eliminate jumping up and down off of high places.
  • Keep beds/sleeping areas on the ground.
  • Assist them as much as possible: picking them up and lifting them down from things.
  • Make sure their favourite place is easily accessible. Windowsills, closets etc.
  • Pets with arthritis or any bone issues may stop grooming themselves as it becomes too painful. Brushing them will make them feel better, especially cats as they are so picky with their appearance.  You can also purchase pet wipes to help keep them clean and fresh.
  • Starting them on a joint supplement such as glucosamine can help lubricate the joints and aid with any discomfort.
  • If an animal is in extreme discomfort due to diagnosed arthritis or even osteoarthritis your veterinarian can prescribe a safe course of pain medication on top of glucosamine to help increase their quality of life.

Please contact us here at Mclean Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns you may have, 416-752-5114.

by Sarah Higney, Veterinary Technician