Is your companion slowing down? Are His senses not as sharp as they used to be? Maybe He’s eating less and is no longer meticulous about grooming. He might be struggling with the stairs, or having a few accidents in the house. If your dog or cat is older than seven, He may simply be slowing down.
The average life span is 13 years. This varies depending on the dog’s size, with many small breeds living well into their teens. Cats live 14 to 16 years on average. Cats and medium to large dogs generally start to show signs of aging between the ages of 7 and 11, while small dogs may not show any visible signs until they’re 10. Whatever the case, as your animal companion gets older, you should be on alert for symptoms that could indicate a health problem. At the same time, you should also look for ways to maintain His quality of life and help Him adapt by keeping Him as safe and comfortable as possible.
SEVEN STEPS TO A HAPPY SENIOR
MOBILITY – Exercise wards off obesity in older animals and helps them stay limber and maintain their muscle mass. For dogs, activities like walking and swimming can be helpful. It’s often better to take several short walks throughout the day rather than a single one. Swimming relieves the dog’s weight while giving His joints a better range of motion. You can also do gentle range of motion exercises with your dog or cat’s legs. Senior dogs and cats can benefit from a little help getting to high places such as furniture and beds. Use a pet ramp to help Him get up to your lap or access His favorite spots.
If you have a home with more than one level, have a litter box available on each floor so your older cat doesn’t have to navigate the stairs.
A baby gate can keep older arthritic dogs from tackling the stairs.
Use an orthopedic be or other padding to increase comfort while your dog or cat is resting.
Slippery floor surfaces or rugs that slide easily underfoot can cause an older animal or person to fall and injure Himself. Rugs should have a rubber backing that prevents slippage.
Make sure your animal’s bed provides adequate protection from hard floor surfaces and is away from cold drafts.
HEARING – If your animal is losing His hearing, be careful not to startle Him. Warn other people, especially children, not to approach Him from behind or touch Him while He is sleeping. This reduces the risk of getting bitten or scratched by an inadvertently frightened animal.
VISION – As sight declines, try to avoid making any big changes in your household environment. Blind cats and dogs can maneuver quite well as long as they remain in familiar surroundings. If you go away on vacation, have a pet sitter come to your home rather than take your dog or cat into a new environment. If you have an older dog, bring along a flashlight when you’re out with Him at night, or use a leash with a built in light.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully During Their Golden Years…
If you are wanting assistance in connecting with your animal companion, we do offer Animal Communication readings. For those wanting to learn how to connect with your pets we have a wonderful class 6 Weeks To Communicating With Your Pets.
Look forward to connecting with you soon!
Intuitive Earth Angel