Tips for keeping your senior pet healthy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has designated November as Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

Older cats and dogs are often easier to handle than a kitten or puppy and are just as loyal.

When you first get an older pet, you should take them to your vet and get an overall health assessment, Amanda Conkling with Blue Pearl Pet Hospital said.

“So many conditions. If we catch them early, we can do a much better job at treating that pet, maintaining them with a, a nice, good quality of life for a bit longer when we catch things early,” she said.

To keep their minds sharp, Conkling recommends having something stimulating for them to do.

“They can get bored, they can get sedentary if left to their own devices. So rotating toys, a simple thing like that can just trigger their interest, (and) get them a little more activity. Varying your daily walks, getting pet visits arranged, play dates with other neighbor animals, things like that,” she said.

As a pet gets older, it’s not uncommon for them to gain a few lumps and bumps. Conkling encourages owners to have them checked by their vet.

“It’s very simple to just sample some cells. If it’s a benign, non-cancerous mass, like a fatty tumor, often we don’t need to worry about (it). But we can frequently see cancer as masses, and the sooner we catch them, the better off we can deal with them,” she said.

For more tips for keeping your senior pet healthy, contact Blue Pearl Pet Hospital.

~ News 8 anchor Sue Shaw contributed to this report.