Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

People aren’t the only ones who start to get a little run down as they age. Our pets face the difficulties of aging as well. Just as one would care for the extra needs of an elderly family member, it is the responsibility of the pet’s family to make life easier for older pets.


Give Them a Boost

Many older pets face arthritis in their joints. They are not as agile as they were when they were younger and it’s much more difficult for them to access those high-up comfy spots where they love to curl up. Give them some help by gently  lifting them up placing a box or steps to give easier access.


Make Them Comfortable

As animals get older, they become much more sensitive to changing temperatures. Their joints and muscles start to get stiff, making it uncomfortable for them to use some beds. Older pets will enjoy a lofted and heated bed, or even add a blanket to make them more comfortable. The heat will soothe their joints and keeping them off the cold, hard floor will be better on their bodies.


Keep Their Food and Water Fresh

Some older pets don’t drink as much water as they should. A pet water fountain is one simple solution, as it will refill automatically and doesn’t need as much maintenance. Fountains also filter the water, providing a better taste that increases the odds older pets will drink from it.

Older dogs sometimes show changes in appetite, so consider adjusting their meals. This could mean using a food made for older pets, or providing smaller, more frequent meals. For pets that have discomfort when moving, consider elevating their food and water bowls so that they don’t have to bend down as much.


Keep Them Active

It is important to keep all pet active, including pets, but their body can only take so much at once. When a pet’s health starts to wane, continue to take them on walks or play with them during the day, but shorten the duration. Space out the activities more to get them time to recover, and make sure they aren’t getting too tired.


Make Sure They’re Healthy

Regular checkups are still important, and if you haven’t started paying attention to their dental health, now is a crucial time to focus on it. Unhealthy teeth and gums can lead to gum disease and toothache, which is uncomfortable for aging pets. Try brushing them a couple times a week or get them a teeth-cleaning toy. Preventing health problems before they become big issues is your best strategy.


Keep Them Feeling Secure

Older dogs get frightened much more easily as they age. They may be more sensitive to loud noises or become afraid of thunderstorms. Try getting them a weighted vest, like a Thundershirt. It is snug to their body and makes them feel more secure and protected.


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