Monday, November 16, 2015
#AdoptASeniorPetMonth :Caring for Your Senior Pet: 4 Tips from Pet Sitters International
FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY:Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, offers important advice for pet owners with senior pets. When they sent us this information, we felt it was important to share with all of you! Cody will be nine years old in 2016 and is now a Senior (so hard for me to believe!!), and this information is important for me as well! We have posted some of our opinions/tidbits sprinkled throughout this post. Cody and I received no compensation for sharing this information.
While November is recognized as Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, pet parents of senior pets know that these special pets are worth celebrating year round. Often overlooked at shelters, senior animals actually make great pets that offer unique benefits and lots of love. As pets age, they need our care even more—and pet parents must be committed to recognizing the signs of aging and monitoring their pets’ health and well-being.
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, offers these quick tips for pet parents to help ensure their senior pets remain as happy and healthy as possible:
Don’t miss regular veterinary checkups. Veterinarians suggest twice-yearly checkups for senior pets. Many diseases or health issues can be treated if caught early at a veterinary visit. These regular checkups allow pet parents to discuss any changes they may have seen in their pet/s with the veterinarian and to learn more about warning signs they should be aware of.
Do focus on your pet’s dental health. Adequate dental care is important for cats and dogs at each stage of their lives, but especially important for senior pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that periodontal disease can result in kidney, liver and heart muscle changes; and recommends that pet parents regular brush their pet’s teeth and have the pet’s teeth and gums checked at least once a year by their veterinarian.
Pet First Aid & CPCR Instructor Denise Fleck whose upcoming book on senior pets,The Autumn & Winter of Your Pet: Make Those Senior Years Golden, is set to be released next month, (I had the pleasure of reviewing her first aid kit and book) . It reminds pet owners that age is often nothing but a number, so it’s important to become familiar with pet’s individual health and situation.
“A great way to better know the dog or cat in your care is to do a regular head-to-tail check-up (even twice weekly as our pets age) to really get acquainted with your furry friend's body. Besides looking for the lump or bump, the human touch can feel like a soothing massage to a senior's stiff joints,” Fleck advises.
Don’t forgo your pet’s exercise routine. Physical and mental exercise is critically important for senior dogs and cats. Senior cats can benefit from interactive toys and food puzzles to keep them entertained and to burn excess calories. (Sorry about the quality of the video below, but it was filmed in 2011 when Cody first reviewed this amazing treat/food dispenser.) Bat-A-Rat can be purchased here. (No we were NOT compensated for mentioning this, this dispenser fits with the subject and since Cody has been using this for almost five years and we love this product, we wanted to show it to you again!!)
Do use only a professional pet sitter experienced in caring for senior pets. If long hours at work keep you away from home (or if you are traveling for work or pleasure), the services of a professional pet sitter can be used to ensure your senior pet can maintain a healthy routine, including its regular exercise schedule. PSI provides pet owners with access to the largest online directory of professional pet sitters free-of-charge and recommends that pet owners ask seven important questions before selecting a professional pet sitter.
“Just as some people are ‘dog people’ and others are ‘cat’ or ‘bird’ people, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finding the right pet sitter to meet the specific needs of you and your pet,” explains PSI President Patti J. Moran. “Pet owners should inquire about a potential pet sitter’s experience with senior pets and any specific training they’ve had, such as Pet First Aid & CPR or PSI’s Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program.”
To learn more about PSI or the professional pet-sitting industry, visit petsit.com. To find a pet sitter to care for your senior pet, visit petsit.com/locate.
Founded in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters with nearly 7,000 member businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 15 additional countries. PSI provides current and prospective pet sitters with access to vital business and educational resources to build and grow their professional pet-sitting businesses. For pet owners, PSI offers the largest online directory of professional pet sitters at petsit.com/locate.