Helping senior pets live their best lives

by Fiona Lane April 14, 2022

Helping senior pets live their best lives

Our fur babies often need more help and support to live their best lives as they move into their senior years. Like us, they can find it harder to get around, struggle to maintain their normal bodily functions and condition and have long term health issues emerge.

While there are simple things we can do to help, it is important to know when a trip to the vet is needed.

So here are our tips on helping senior pets live their best lives.

Start early

Keeping healthy in mid-life can help with staying healthy in the golden years. Our cats and dogs often start to slow down from around the age of 8, so this is a great time to start them on a general remedy like our Senior Drops. This remedy supports mobility, cognitive function and liver health and can be dosed via the water bowl which makes it super easy to give to even the most ferocious feline (read our tips on dosing cats!)

For animals that like to drink from more exotic places (anyone have a toilet bowl drinker?) just add one pump of remedy to their food twice a day. Easy!

Make allowances for reduced mobility

Senior pets tend to be less active. For cats that usually means more sleeping and less climbing, but for dogs reduced mobility can be harder to manage. They’ll often need shorter but more frequent walks with extra time to stop, sniff and forage along the way. Dogs can also have trouble getting in and out of the car – if they’re too heavy to lift, then a pet ramp is worth every cent to prevent jarring of backs and hips – for both you and your dog!

Older cats and dogs can also find it harder to bend when feeding, so putting their food and water bowls higher off the ground is a good idea.

You can also try one of our two remedies. BioPet Joints supports older pets who are stiff and sore, while Weak Hind Legs supports those with back legs aren’t working as well as they used to.

Incontinence

Our older pets often need to go outside more often, which can mean more bathroom breaks during the night. Putting an absorbent pad by the door can help to catch any accidents. Our Incontinence – Pets remedy provides support to bladders that don’t work as well as they used to. (We also make one called Bladder Tone Plus for humans!)

Keep an eye out for changes in appetite

Changes in appetite can be an indication that something is very wrong with your pet so should never be ignored.

Thyroid issues

If they become ravenously hungry but are losing weight, vomiting regularly, looking disheveled and showing signs of increased anxiety, there could be an issue with their thyroid. While dogs can develop thyroid issues, this condition is a lot more common in cats. Thyroid conditions must be treated by a vet, however you can use our remedies alongside any prescribed medication to manage symptoms and support their recovery.

Thyroid issues present differently in cats vs dogs, which is why we make two very specific remedies – Hyperthyroid – Cats and Hypothyroidism – Dogs.

We also have a remedy called Appetite Plus - Pets for cats and dogs who need support with their appetite and digestion during recovery from injury or illness, or during end-of-life care.

Kidney disease

Unlike dogs, cats are ‘obligate carnivores’ and this reliance on meat in their diet means they almost always experience kidney issues as they get older. Often kidney issues aren’t picked up until they are quite advanced. It’s important to get vet treatment for Kidney issues, however starting your cat or dog on our Kidney & Liver Health remedy from about the age of 8 can provide support as they head into those senior years. This remedy is also suitable for using alongside prescribed medication.

Watch for changes in their fur or coat

Sometimes our older pets can look a bit ‘rough’ as they age, with a dull coat and increased shedding. You might be surprised to know that offering a smear of vegemite for them to lick from your finger each day can bring the lustre back! You can also use our BioPet Skin remedy on both cats and dogs. However, if either of these things don’t restore shine and lustre, we’d recommend a visit to the vet to ensure there aren’t underlying issues such as thyroid function or kidney issues.

Smelly Coats

Older dogs often produce too much seborrhoea/grease which can result in a build-up of bacteria, resulting in that ‘doggy’ smell and the need for more frequent baths. Using a natural pet soap like Washbar in the bath can help, as can dosing with our BioPet Skin remedy, but we also love this simple tea rinse which can be used after the bath, or as an ‘in between’ freshener:

Easy Tea Rinse Recipe

This ‘tea’ has natural antibacterial, antifungal and soothing properties, and it smells nice too!

  • Put 2 tsp of dried rosemary and thyme, and a chamomile teabag into a bowl
  • Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the herbs and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes
  • When cool, pour through a sieve into a jug
  • Work the cooled rinse through the coat so it reaches the skin.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week

Remember, just like humans, older dogs can feel the cold so it’s important to dry them off quickly in cooler months.

Manage increased anxiety

Both cats and dogs can become more anxious as they get older.

For older cats, Spring can be especially tricky both mentally and physiologically. Their pineal gland registers the longer days which triggers their primal need to re-establish their territory. This can result in them becoming more timid and anxious as they come to terms with their lessening prowess in fending off younger, stronger cats. This stress can cause urinary tract issues such as stress cystitis which results in blood in the urine. Any urinary issues should always be checked by your vet with our BioPet Urinary Health remedy being used to support their recovery.

Our BioPet Relax remedy can also support cats and dogs that are experiencing disagreements over territory or generalised anxiety due to ill health, changes at home or end of life care.

Dogs can become more anxious as they age, especially when separated from their humans, left at home during the day, being rehomed or coping with the loss of a family member. Our BioPet Feeling Lonely remedy can support animals through feelings of grief or abandonment.

Other Senior Pet remedies

We’ve got lots of other remedies for conditions that often affect senior cats and dogs. Take a look at the full range on our website!



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