Caring for Your Ageing Pet

Ageing is a natural process that comes to all our pets. There is no set age at which pets are classed as senior, but larger breeds tend to reach the senior time of their life earlier than smaller breeds. The life span of our pets is determined by their genes, diet, activity level and medical history.

Look out for signs of ageing

Signs of ageing to look out for in your pet include weight gain in dogs, weight loss in cats, loss of hearing, poor eye sight, longer sleep patterns, reduced activity, graying of the hair and mobility issues.

Keep your pets active

Senior pets still require daily exercise, but to a lesser extent than when they were adults. This may mean limiting the amount of exercise your pet receives as some seniors simply don't know when to stop! Try to create different ways to exercise your pet. Here are some suggestions for dogs and cats ...

Dogs

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Food activity toys
  • Daily training
  • exercise on a recall lead
  • Cats

  • Food activity toy
  • Hunting games - especially with food
  • Daily training
  • Provide a comfortable home

    ‘Senior proofing’ your house and garden can help your pet feel more comfortable at home. Placing a mat or rug over Laminate or wooden flooring may help elderly pets walk more safely and comfortably around the house.

    Senior dogs may find it hard to walk up and down steps and introducing a ramp can help their mobility.

    Senior cats still prefer to rest in high 3D environments where they feel safe, but it may become increasingly difficult for them to climb. Try providing mid-levels for your cat to use to help them get up to these places or introduce new places that are more accessible.

    Baby gates can be placed around the home to stop senior pets going upstairs or into areas of the house that are no longer suitable for them.

    Adjust diet

    In their senior years, pets become less active and require changes to their diet. Their immune system also starts to weaken, leaving them more susceptible to illness and disease. Senior diets contain a lower protein content and a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals to help combat illness and disease and help prevent heart disease and cancer.

    Oscar Adult Care Pinnacle Plus Turkey & Rice is ideal for senior dogs with dietary sensitivities, and Oscar Adult Complete Scottish Salmon & Chicken is perfect for cats.

    Offer joint supplements

    Some senior pets may require nutritional support for ageing joints and mobility problems. Feeding a diet (or supplement) that includes Glucosamine (which provides building blocks to synthesize new joint cartilage), Chondroitin (which blocks destructive enzymes that break down cartilage), MSM (which is vital for the formulation of keratin/collagen) and Elastin (which gives flexibility/tone plus strength to muscle, bones and joints) can play an important part in maintaining an ageing pet’s joint flexibility and comfort.

    Check out our joint supplement range on our website.

    Regular veterinary checks

    Senior pets require more frequent veterinary checks to monitor the signs of old age. If you're concerned about your pet’s health, always contact your veterinary surgeon for a full health check.

    If you would like any further advice on ageing pets, please contact the OSCAR Helpline on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscar.co.uk

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