Older. Better. Safer. Supporting Your Senior Pet This Summer
As your pet ages, it’s natural to want to make the most of – and enjoy – your remaining time together. For you, that could mean continuing the tradition of escaping together on a summer getaway or simply getting into the great wide open, but your senior pet may be showing that he or she has other ideas of fun, such as remaining comfortable on the shady patio. To best help your senior pet this summer – and make only the sweetest memories together – we offer the following safety and wellness tips.
If your pet is like the others we know and love, he or she likes to get involved in whatever it is you are doing; such as following you in, and out, and around the house (you know this dance well), getting all wet when you wash the car, or tracking mud in on your clean floors.
When your senior pet attempts to play like he or she did in the old days, strains, overexertion, or injury are more likely to occur. Of course, this is even more true in the heat of the summer, when senior pets are at risk of heatstroke. As a result, you must cater your pet’s summer activities to his or her capabilities, keeping safety and comfort in the forefront.
Depending on your senior pet’s health, you may be able to keep up with most of your typical summertime agenda. However, many aging pets experience arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other chronic diseases that could limit – or cut out entirely – previous activities. Exercise will continue to be critical to your senior pet’s overall health and, at his or her wellness exam, we can design a proper exercise routine that supports any present issues.
The Sizzling Sun
Protecting your senior pet this summer must include extra vigilance when outdoors. Remember:
- Fresh cool water is essential to quench your pet’s thirst and keep him or her cool. Stage several water bowls throughout the home and by the backdoor. Filling a baby pool for your pet to splash around in will also help to regulate body temperature.
- Younger pets can tolerate higher temperatures better than seniors, making shade absolutely critical. If your senior pet has a tough time moving around, do your best to arrange for a shady spot that is accessible, and allow him or her to move freely between inside and out.
- Dogs perspire through the paw pads and release body heat by panting. Care for your senior pet’s paws, limit direct exposure to hot concrete, and watch closely for any changes in panting rhythms.
- Pets should never be left waiting for you in a parked car.
- Physical exercise should be scheduled for early morning or evening.
Your Senior Pet This Summer
Providing opportunities for your senior pet to swim is a great way to bond, cool-off, and mitigate arthritis symptoms. Close supervision and assistance are mandatory, as well as outfitting Fido with a life vest. Cold water can set an arthritic pet back a bit; make sure he or she doesn’t remain in icy waters for long.
Making The Most Of Your Time
Allowing and encouraging your senior pet to pace him or herself, maintaining weight through proper physical activity, and snuggling up in the good old air conditioning are wonderful ways to ensure your senior pet thrives this summer. Safety truly can equal fun, and we are here to help if you have any questions or concerns about supporting your senior pet this summer.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!