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Is your furry friend in their golden years? If so, you’ll want to pay some extra attention to them over the next few weeks. The holidays can be fun for pets, but they can also be stressful. There are also some seasonal hazards to consider. A local Leesburg, VA vet offers some tips on spending the holidays with an older pet in this article.
Pets in their senior years are often very much creatures of habit, and can get quite rattled by any changes to their regular napping agendas. Guests, decorations, schedule changes, travel, and board are all potential sources of stress. Take steps to soothe your four-legged friend, and keep them calm and comfy. That may mean extra walks or playtimes, or even just additional cuddles.
Senior dogs and cats are usually past the chewing/destructive behavior/mayhem stage. You may not need to do quite as much petproofing as you would with a puppy or kitten. However, you will need to keep things that could be dangerous, such as toxic plants, out of paws’ reach. Fireplaces, heaters, candles, and potpourri burners are also unsafe, as older pets can easily singe themselves.
Those delicious holiday foods are a big part of many seasonal celebrations. Fido and Fluffy will definitely notice the yummy dishes coming out of the oven! It’s fine to offer them some treats, but stick with safe options. Also, don’t go crazy with fatty foods: senior pets often have very sensitive stomachs, and can get sick from eating rich, salty, or fatty foods. Ask guests not to feed pets without checking with you. Contact your vet for more information.
With older pets, you’ll want to focus more on keeping them comfortable than keeping them occupied. Dogs and cats in their golden years are much more sensitive to temperature extremes than younger animals. If Fido has short fur, he may need a jacket on his walks. As for Fluffy, she may appreciate a thermal or heated bed.
Keep your furry pal’s age in mind when choosing their gifts. Older pets often like soft toys, or things that light up or make noise. Comfy beds, supplements, treats, dental products, subscription boxes, and pet ramps are also great choices.
Happy Holidays from everyone here at Lansdowne Animal Hospital, your Leesburg, VA pet clinic. Contact us anytime!