The Care of the Senior Pet
Specialized care is required for senior pets in order to meet their nutritional requirements and address any aging health concerns. Weight loss or failure to maintain appropriate body condition in the face of perceived adequate feeding strategies are common problems in senior pets. Some will require specialized diets.
Causes of weight loss or poor body condition in senior pets include:
- Underfeeding or giving feeds of insufficient nutritional content.
- Reduced feed intake.
- Inability to eat (e.g. due to painful dental problems).
- Lack of appetite due to health conditions.
- Increased nutrient requirements (e.g. due to health conditions).
Weight gain can also occur in senior pets. This can be a concern due to risks of joint disease and metabolic disorders in old age. Regular visits to the veterinarian are required to ensure the senior dog or cat is maintaining a healthy body condition.