Our senior pets

~ by Vet. Fernando Riera S.

When our beloved pets become geriatric, they require special attention since their bones and muscles are not strong anymore. Because of all the love they have given us for years, we must show our gratitude by attending to their needs. 

They lose their mobility, muscle mass, sight, experience organ failure, and are more vulnerable to systemic and articular diseases, as well as tumors. Animals suffer the same illnesses as humans, such as cataracts, diabetes, heart conditions, gray hair, loss of muscle mass and teeth, arthritis, urinary incontinence, etc. 

The key to take care of our pets is to provide them with a healthy diet since there are little; this way, pets’ joints and muscles will develop fully.

Our senior pets - Uvita, Bahia Ballena, Osa - Ballena Tales

There are plenty of food options for our aging pets. 

Also, animals 7 years or older should be taken to the vet at least twice a year, so doctors can perform a general physical test on them. Blood tests are very useful to corroborate organ performance, especially the kidneys, which are frequently affected in animals. 

Good dental hygiene prevents periodontitis, and animals will keep their teeth even when they become senior. 

Large dog breeds grow older faster than small breeds. 

Geriatric pets need a quiet environment, amenities (a mattress, access to water, and space to urinate and defecate). If they start losing their sight and hearing, we must help them out because they are more vulnerable to accidents. 

They deserve our attention and patience; light diets when they experience renal or hepatic failure, or lifelong treatments in case of diabetes, cardiomyopathies, thyroid disorders, or allergies. 

My message is: a pet is forever, and they are not disposable when they reach a certain age. Let’s treat our pets the same way we would like to be treated when we grow older.

INFO: Veterinario Fernando Riera Sileski R.

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