Archive for September, 2016
Just like humans, many pets are living longer today. Thanks to improved veterinary care and dietary guidelines, pets are enjoying longer lives with their loved ones. However, the longer lifespan of our pets often means that owners and veterinarians must know how to care for pets during their senior years. Most veterinarians agree that cats and dogs reach the geriatric stage at age seven, though some larger breeds of dogs are considered to be seniors when they are six because of their shorter lifespans. If you have a pet nearing their senior years, you may be concerned about how to best care for them. We offer four tips for caring for a senior pet below, so that you can help ease your four-legged friend into their twilight years more easily.
- See your veterinarian regularly
While old age certainly is not an illness, it does carry with it certain health concerns that become more prevalent. That’s why regularly scheduling visits with your veterinarian is a good idea as your pets age. Being proactive will help your vet identify health problems sooner, and it is much less expensive to prevent disease in your older animals than it is to treat it.
You also may consider asking your veterinarian to conduct a body condition evaluation of your senior pets during their visits. During these checks, your vet can determine whether your pet is at an ideal weight. Extra weight is not good for animals at any stage of their lives, but it can be especially detrimental to their health during the senior years, which leads to our next tip.
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight
It is not in your senior pet’s best interests to be underweight or overweight; yet, studies show that nearly 50% of all dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese, and the percentage increases among senior pets. Obesity in animals is a health risk, just as it is for their human owners. Overweight dogs are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, skin diseases, and cancer. They also commonly develop serious joint complications including arthritis and hip dysplasia. Overweight pets also have a more difficult time tolerating heat and breathing.
To keep your senior pet at a healthy weight, choose a high-quality food that is appropriate for his species, age, and size. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best pet food and nutritional mix for your senior pet in addition to how much and how often to feed him. Avoid feeding your pet people food because it contributes to weight gain and can spur other medical problems.
- Make sure your senior pet gets plenty of exercise
Of course, regular exercise for your senior pet is one way to help him stay at a healthy weight. However, pet owners need to be sure they are exercising their senior animals in appropriate ways. Discuss exercises with your vet if you are unsure where to begin. In most cases, a daily walk is an ideal exercise for senior pets. If you work and are unable to walk your dog every day, consider hiring a dog walker from a company like Rover. Dog walkers are happy to get your pet outside for a healthy walk when you are unable to do so. Other exercises that usually are safe for aging pets include play periods with toys or family members. Do not play too roughly and make sure your pet has access to water while exercising.
- Keep your dog’s teeth healthy
Many owners fail to recognize the importance of dental health for their senior pets. Older dogs and cats are susceptible to bacteria if their teeth have been neglected for a period of time. Tartar builds up and leads to gingivitis, which can allow bacteria to get into your senior pet’s bloodstream and damage his organs. One way to keep your pet’s teeth and gums in good condition is to do regular brushing at home and ask your vet to do yearly cleanings. Monitor your senior pet’s teeth and gums and make sure you report any concerns to your veterinarian immediately.
Pet owners want to see their pets live long, healthy lives. That is possible if you provide proper care for your senior pet and follow the tips we have suggested here.
Image via Pixabay by tpsdave
Article by Caroline Hampton
Not all pet-friendly hotels are created equal since pet policies and fees will vary. For example, some hotels may only allow pets smaller than 25 pounds, while others may only accept dogs.
With so many hotel chains on the road, you may be thinking about hitting the open road with your four-legged friends. To help make your planning easier, here are some popular hotel chains that are more than welcoming to pets.
#1 Motel 6
This budget minded hotel chain was one of the first chains to allow pets. Conveniently located along all major highways, Motel 6 is a favorite among travelers looking for a stay along their travel route. All Motel 6 properties allow service animals and well-behaved pets (unless they pose a safety risk or are prohibited by law). And the best part is that they stay for free.
#2 Red Roof Inn
This hotel chain does a great job of welcoming your four-legged friend; in fact, they even have a Facebook page dedicated to them called “Red Roof Luvs Pets.” All of Red Roof Inns 345 locations are pet-friendly and all of them allow pets to stay for free. Their motto is, “You Stay Happy, Pets Stay Free!” (note from blog owner: Perhaps Red Roof has changed their policy because we have been charged pet fees at some locations.)
#3 La Quinta
Well behaved pets are welcomed at all but 4 of their 800+ La Quinta locations. La Quinta is known for offering quality service and providing its guests with many of the features and amenities offered at high-end hotels. Most importantly, La Quinta does not charge pet fees. When booking online, be sure to mention that you are traveling with your pet in the “Special Requests” section. If calling to book, be sure to let the reservation agent know.
#4 Kimpton Hotels
Kimpton Hotels are a super pet-friendly boutique hotel chain that raises the bar when it comes to being pet-friendly. As part of their program, hosPETality, in addition to pets staying free, any number of pets are welcome regardless of size, weight, kind, or breed. Each Kimpton Hotel offers its unique pet-friendly services and amenities. Be sure to check them out if you are looking for some serious pet pampering.
#5 Indigo Hotels
Many of the Indigo Hotels will call you before your arrival to see if they can enhance your stay beyond your expectations. On arrival, you will receive a dog goody basket. Hotel Indigo in Downtown Asheville, for example, even offers custom dog treats with your pet’s name on.
They will also provide you with bowls, beds, toys and complimentary scoop bags. One unique feature of their pet-friendly program are their canine cocktail parties, known as Yappy Hour. During this hour, guests, their four-legged friend, and locals mingle over cocktails and snacks. The best part is that some of the money raised goes to the local animal shelter.
Indigo Hotels do have some weight restrictions in place, which differ between the individual hotels, and they also charge a one-time fee that ranges between $40 to $75.
#6 Loews Hotels
On arrival, you will receive a welcome package that includes treats, a golden pet tag, bowls, scoop bags and vouchers for local pet-friendly establishments. In your room, you will find comforts such as beds, litter trays, scratching posts, rawhide bones and even pet DVDs. They also offer pet services, such as pet-sitting and pet-walking.
Loews Hotels endeavor to wait on your paw and foot, and they have room service menus that have been especially created for pets by their award-winning chef. If your pet is the adventurous type, then you can head over to Loews Hotel, San Diego, where they hold dog surfing competitions. If your dog would rather spend the day being pampered, then consider visiting the Loews Hotels in St Pete Beach, where they offer a professional canine therapeutic service.
All pets are welcome, and they have a one-time fee, which is between $25 to $35.
When staying at any of these pet-friendly hotels, you must always register your pet upon check-in. Also, it’s important to abide by the house rules and follow proper pet etiquette to ensure that you and your dog, cat, or another furry friend is welcomed back.