The older they get, the more attached to them we grow. As the years go by, we start to think of them as full-on family members. However, senior pets are known to be more likely to develop different conditions than younger ones.
Some of these conditions are manageable, if detected in their early stages. To make sure that happens and to provide your dog or cat with the most comfortable life as possible in their senior years, look for these signs.
1. Behavior Changes in Dogs
If you notice your dog is sometimes confused or unstable, this could be a sign of a cognitive dysfunction. Even though these symptoms are not curable, there are certain treatments and aging supplements that could decrease them.
As you probably noticed, senior dogs sleep more and have less energy. Because they require longer resting periods, it is important not to disturb their sleep during the day.
2. When Your Cat’s Appearance Changes…
Many times, if a senior cat’s appearance changes, it could be a sign that it is time to see a veterinarian. These changes might include a dry coat, bald patches, weird-looking lumps or bumps on their body, or pale or discolored gums.
3. Drinking Too Much Water
If you notice that your pets are drinking more water than normal, immediately take them to the vet. Sometimes, this could be a symptom of easily curable conditions like a urinary tract infection. Other times, however, this might indicate more severe diseases like diabetes or a kidney condition.
The vet will run a urine or even blood test to find out what’s causing these signs.
4. Sense Loss in Dogs
As they grow older, dogs’ hearing, vision, and sense of smell may decrease. Some of them could even become entirely blind or deaf in their late years. If you notice your senior dog doesn’t respond too well to commands anymore, make sure not to put him under even more stress.
Instead, make small, daily changes to make things easier for your dog. Leave the food, water bowl, and bed in the same place so that your dog can locate them easily. Also, avoid making rapid movements, even when petting, as these could scare him or her.
Sometimes, cloudy eyes could indicate an illness called nuclear sclerosis, which does not usually affect vision. Or, it could be caused by a more severe condition: cataracts.
5. Cat Litter Box Issues
Even though cats are trained to do their business in the litter box, as they get older, they could lose this habit. Many times, this is a sign that something is wrong with their health.
Also, there is a health issue if you notice that your pet:
• Is defecating or urinating more than usual.
• Has persistent diarrhea.
• Has blood in his or her urine or feces.
Therefore, if you notice any changes in your cat’s litter box habits, make sure to take it to the vet to check if there are any health problems causing these symptoms.
Pet Insurance: Is It for Senior Pets?
To make sure your pet gets the best possible care in its senior years, it is advisable to enroll it with a comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers chronic and genetic conditions, as well.
There aren’t too many pet insurance providers that offer coverage for senior pets. Most of them have maximum age limits for dogs and cats. There are, however, a few that do. For instance, PetFirst offers coverage for pets of all ages. There is also Figo Pet Insurance, another firm that has no maximum age limits.
Whichever you choose, make sure you do your research thoroughly before committing to anything. This way, you can ensure that your pet gets the best possible coverage without breaking the bank.