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Adopting a Senior Pet: How to Get Ready and What to Expect

Opening your heart to an old, new friend is a challenging yet rewarding experience. Taking care of a senior pet you just met can be a slow and delicate process. It would be best to keep things in mind as you introduce yourself and your home (other pets included) to your new senior family member. Let’s look at two things: how to take care of your senior pet and the conditions to which you might need to pay attention.

Giving Your Senior Pet a Warm Welcome

It takes preparation to effectively look after your senior pet. Although they will adjust independently and at their own pace, you have to set out the plan to support the senior pet living in your home. Before bringing the cuddly buddy home, make sure you have readied the following.

A Senior-Friendly Space

A peaceful space to be alone, a comfy bed, and a water dish within reach are some of the things that must be ready for your new pet’s homecoming. Make certain that the floorings are not too slippery and that bathroom space is quickly accessible. Also, ensure no obstacles are present to prevent mishaps or physical exhaustion.

Introduction to Other Pets

Pets are territorial. Cats and dogs might both display aggressiveness when there is someone new. Your senior pet will not appreciate the unwanted tension, so prepare how you can gently introduce them to your tribe.

Senior Diet

Nutritional needs change at certain ages. Talk to a vet initially to get recommendations and advice on pet diets. Diet plans are not one-kind-fits-all; you can learn more about your pet’s needs as the days progress.

Grooming Assistance

As dogs and cats grow older, their fur changes. It loses density and gloss, which can trigger matting and other problems. Your senior pet cat may not be as flexible anymore to groom itself. Be ready for brushing sessions during cuddle time.

Regular Exercise

These furry pals are not as bouncy as they used to be, but they still need to move. Schedule short walks or prepare an area where they can move. Their joints might not be cooperative as in the past; however, they still need physical and mental stimulation daily.

Common Medical Conditions to Expect

Degenerative issues will come. Do not be surprised when visits to the vet get more constant. The very best way to maintain their health is the bi-annual health check, but be ready to go when other issues occur.

Eye Issues

Glaucoma, cataracts, or complications of diabetes are most common in senior pets. If you observe them bumping, losing balance, or having eye discharge, it may be time to see the vet. Eye issues become worse rapidly, so do not let them go untreated. Look for eye specialists near you or you may visit websites like for help.

Hearing Problems

If your pet shows anxiety or exhibits disobedience, hearing is probably already affected. Although hearing problems are irreversible, you can start teaching hand signs to allow communication as the days progress.

Skin Diseases

Skin gets thinner as pets age. As the immune system gets weaker, pets might be unable to fend off infections. When you discover something irregular on your pet’s skin, see a cat and dog dermatologist immediately to control the situation.

Dental Diseases

This is usual in senior pets, so be watchful for plaque buildup, gingivitis, and tooth decay. These can cause lots of problems, including weight loss and bacterial infections. So make sure your pet gets checked by a veterinary dentist during routine checkups.

Arthritis or Joint Problems

Lack of movement or flexibility problems are caused by arthritis or joint pains. Ask the veterinarian about non-invasive treatments for pain, such as acupuncture and cold laser therapy, to let them enjoy their remaining years pain-free.

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