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Pet owners are divided on the subject of which age can an animal be considered senior? There is also the question of what a pet owner can do to increase the quality of life for the pet. A pet can undergo a surprising number of changes as it grows older.
The question of what constitutes a senior pet depends on the particular animal involved. To give an example, a large six-year-old dog could be considered a senior but its smaller counterpart of the same age maybe not. This is the reason it makes sense to shell out extra money for a good veterinarian. Only a trained eye could pick out aging and ailing symptoms. It is important to take your pet frequently to the vet to keep it healthy.
Animals and humans share a number of common aging traits. Arthritis and kidney disease are common. High cholesterol is suffered by all species. The factors likely to change include mobility, muscle mass, weight, and energy levels. Appetites will also decrease. It is important not to confuse illness signs with aging.
Physical and mental stimulation is a must
The pet should be healthy all his life. It is vital that the animal should have frequent health checkups and be given nutritionally balanced food. Mental and physical stimulation is a must. A number of companies have launched multiple products designed to assist owners to exercise their pets. All-terrain pet jogger and pet strollers are excellent products for physically active pets and their owners. A few companies manufacture cool air portable rooms where an active animal could cool down after a bout of strenuous exercise. For senior pets, there are support wraps and braces, Wheelchairs are also available. Other than dogs, other animals like rabbits and pigs can also use such wheelchairs. Veterinarians urge pet owners to give their animals sufficient mental stimulation.
For senior dogs, a better nutritional balance is a must. An animal which does not get sufficient amounts of Vitamin C will show signs of scurvy later in life. Pet birds need Vitamin A and not getting it will result in gout. Reptile pets need calcium and if they do not get it, the cold-blooded animals will suffer from metabolic bone disease. The bones will begin to break down. Cats are obligate carnivores but will eat any offered food. These include bone marrow, cheese, or sweet substances. When it comes to dogs, they have adapted well to diets rich in meat. Canines, however, have evolved to consume non-meat foods too. Pet specialists have prescribed water, minerals, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates to canine diet. Similar to humans, the number one problem plaguing dogs is obesity. A good pet owner must not let the pet become obese.