When your pet’s steps slow and their coats turn to grey, they are entering their geriatric years. Our geriatric canine and feline friends are usually greater than 10 years of age…think humans that are 80-100 years old….and probably deserve a a medal (or at least a tasty treat) for getting through the puppy/kitten stage of curiosity and misadventure, playful learning, and development! They have lived an outstanding full life filled with activity, love, and companionship with their pet parents by their sides.
But now what? What changes can we expect these “senior citizens” to be dealing with? How can we help them transition to their final years of life and continue to find fulfillment in them? Comfort and mobility are the cornerstones for a high-quality long life. The challenges this group faces include managing the chronic pain of osteoarthritis or chronic illnesses (i.e. heart, liver, lung, kidney, or oral disease). Mental stability and cognitive decline can trigger night wandering and confusion that may require appropriate medications and therapy.