Pet Stress Related To Aging
Age can get to us all!
Once energetic and vibrant we become less active, sometimes even depressed. We can remember special occasions really well but may not be as sharp about daily happenings.
The same thing happens to our pets. I see a reduction in mobility, I see a change in coat and then also cognitive function.
It’s hard to keep pets mobile as they reach their golden years. While running up the stairs or catching a frisbee was once a daily past time, with painful joints, speed reduces and the type of exercise needs to be changed.
I had to remind myself that healing from even a minor injury like a sprain or a bruise takes longer as we age.
Instead of catching a frisbee, a simple walk or a swim may suffice.
As my 3 English Shepherds aged, they had a more challenging time getting up and laying down. I used to have to help them up and then they would just drop whenever they wanted to lay down. It was hard to watch them and the sound!
When I would come home, my dogs would bark at me, as if they could not recognize me. The grey on the muzzles and the hazy eyes would slowly give way to a wagging tail. All was good again and then lost as if trying to catch a thought.
Same happens with cats.
While they don’t seize the frisbee, their jumps are not as high. Sometimes the gait changes and they get wobbly. They definitely don’t lick themselves as much. Have you noticed that cats don't actually look older, just more distinguished!
You may notice that the coat is more oily allowing mats form more freely, even on short haired cats. Sometimes the shed becomes excessive.
The master bedroom was on the second floor. Because the guys would start tripping up and down the stairs, I put up baby gates. Can you imagine how stressful it can be for your pet if they can’t go up the stairs when you go to bed?
They don’t understand why they can’t do stairs and they will try. I had to start leaving a worn sweatshirt with each of the boys to keep them company. Towards their last days, I would get up to check on their breathing. They would lift their heads and grumble.
Some of the ways to help your pets in their golden years.
- Groom more frequently. A warm bath, a gentle massage will really help with painful joints. A clean coat is so much more comfortable. Treat your pet to a regular spa day or spaw day. Yes, even your cats! CHECK OUT MY CAT GROOMING BUSINESS HERE!
- Make sure the diet contains enough nutrients. With age, dietary needs change. While it is nice to give them whatever pleases them, we also have to mind the condition of the joints and weight.
- Change the type of exercise to be lower impact. With dogs, walk them instead of running. Swimming instead of jumping. With cats, keep them closer to the ground and toss toys on the floor.
- For smaller doggos and for cattos, try walking them in a pet stroller that’s zippered to keep them safe. They will get the interest of the smells and fresh air and you will get the walking part of the walk! Everybody wins.
- Move pet bedding and food bowls to be closer to the ground and places they like to frequent.
- Place ramps for pets to get to their favorite surfaces, especially if it’s a bed or couch that they are used to resting on.
Aside from these activities, I recommend diffusing oils.
Top 5 Oils I use to Motivate my pets into performing activities:
- Ginger helps with memory and brain support. I add it to all of my pets meals both cats and dog. It also helps digestion but more on that later. It can also help remove feelings of apathy and can really help energize your older pets.
- In Tune helps with mental clarity, focus, nervousness and concentration
- Motivate helps with confusion and overwhelm. It also helps remove feelings of emotional drain and mental fatigue.
- Passion helps with mental fog and memory issues.
- Stronger children’s line helps with feelings of emotional distress.
Motivation for older pets needs to support memory and brain function, clear up any mental fog and really focus their energy on the tasks at hand.
Remember above, when I said we needed to do exercises, this is how I got my guys to do exercises.
Ginger goes in all of my cat food and dog food.
I use Stronger to ear tip.
I run Passion and In Tune along the back and spine for dogs. For cats, I would put a little dab of each oil on my hands, mix them and part the hair along the spine and apply in 3-4 spots.
I diffuse Motivate