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As much as we love our pets, ageing is an inevitable process and often accompanied by a myriad of related health or behavioural issues. Doting fur-parents often try their best to ensure ageing pets continue to get the best quality of life through their golden years - so here are some tips for you and your senior pets! 

Regular Vet Visits

You may need to schedule more regular visits to the vet for your pet, to ensure any age-related issues are managed well. Many diseases and problems that come with the older age are not always obvious and have little symptoms, so visiting the vet is always a good way to detect these issues early, or even prevent them through regular body checks and evaluations.

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Diet & Supplements

Swap out your pet’s food for diets lower in sodium or fat if they suffer from, or are prone to congenital issues like heart disease, or kidney problems. Softer food will also help senior pets if they have difficulties with chewing, and also put less stress on their digestion processes.

In addition to changing their diet, you may also consider giving them supplements, for example, joint problems like arthritis will benefit from fish oil tablets, chondroitin or glucosamine.

Keep Them Out Of Harm's Way

You may notice your senior pets losing their sense of sight or hearing gradually, so it’s important to make sure they stay out of harm’s way. Create pet gates so they don’t wander into danger when you’re not around, and remove objects that may hurt them.

You may also consider using hand signals with them early, so even if they do become hard of hearing, you can still communicate with them.

Aching Bones

As pets grow older, they may develop joint problems and aches, so it’s a good idea to keep them active and maintain good joint movements with light exercise. Taking slow walks around the park, or even trying out hydrotherapy will let them experience a fun, effective work-out.

Make sure litter boxes, bedding and food bowls are accessible for your hobbling pets so there’s no unnecessary pressure on their bodies!

Lots Of Cuddles

As your pet gets older, you’ll realise that any amount of time you get with them is precious. Increase your physical contact with them through some nice belly rubs, or a massage, or even a quiet cuddle. Since senior pets will find it increasingly difficult to groom themselves, a good brush with some cuddles is always a good way to remind them you love them.

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*This article was updated on 15 Aug 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on 10 Mar 2015.