Getting Older: How to Help Your Senior Pet Age Comfortably

Getting Older: How to Help Your Senior Pet Age Comfortably

The puppy you adopted years ago may not be quite as spry anymore.

Just like humans, pets’ bodies, minds, and behaviors change as they grow older. Senior dogs and cats can face issues of mobility, achy joints, failing eyesight and hearing, incontinence, confusion, forgetfulness, respiratory problems, poor coat, weight loss, trouble chewing and swallowing, low energy, neediness, anxiety, and stress, among others.
But senior companion animals don’t have to suffer. As your dog or cat ages, consider these tips to keep them comfortable:

  • Watch for soreness and discomfort and see a veterinarian for arthritis and pain medication. Acupuncture and Class IV laser therapy can be helpful.
  • Provide quality bedding. A mattress made of memory foam or egg-carton-patterned foam help with comfort.
  • Watch for floors that are slippery. Provide rugs or mats to help your pet with his or her footing.
  • Avoid rearranging furniture, so as not to confuse your senior dog or cat.
  • Check your pet’s teeth. They may be painful.
  • Exercise your senior pet, but do not hike as far or push him to play as long.
  • Swimming is a great option for older dogs, as it’s easier on their joints. Using a life jacket can be comforting for them and you.
  • Make sure your dog or cat does not get too cold or hot. Senior pets may struggle to make smart decisions as they age and may lie in the sun or stay in the cold too long. Rather than cooling or warming their bodies, energy should be spent on digestion and healing.
  • Feed your senior pet a quality diet that is appropriate for her age.
  • Provide soft pet food if your animal’s teeth or jaw are sore. Don’t feed your pet too much or overdo it with treats. Excess weight aggravates arthritis and other health issues.
  • Provide clean, fresh water in a clean bowl. Washing your pet’s food and water bowls helps prevent bacterial buildup.
  • If your pet has arthritis in his neck, raise his food and water bowls off the ground slightly.
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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Alan  Pomerantz Photo
    Dr. Alan Pomerantz
    Born and raised in NJ, I attended Rutgers University for my Bachelors degree. I attended Cornell University and received both a Masters of Science degree and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees in 1985. I have had a varied career working with shelters, zoos and farms. Earlier in my career, I owned a veterinary hospital in Kingston, NY, where I cared for all kinds of animals. I raised a modest flock of sheep and goats for 10 years. For the last 20 years, my primary interest has been dogs and ...
  • Dr. Jack  Mastrascusa Photo
    Dr. Jack Mastrascusa
    I have been with Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital since May 2007. After working as a technician in the dental and surgical field and later achieving my veterinary license, I decided to stay and practice here as this is a great place to work and learn. I live with my wife Silvina and son Leonardo along with a Red footed tortoise named Fred and a Black and white Tegu lizard named Loki. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Montevideo, Uruguay when I was 13 and lived there for 11 years. It was in ...
  • Dr. Kristin  Onesios Photo
    Dr. Kristin Onesios
    I joined the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital in May of 2010 after working in Hoboken for three years. I had always hoped to return to FLAH after spending multiple summers and college breaks working here as a receptionist and veterinary assistant. I grew up a few towns over in Allendale. For undergraduate studies, I went to Cook College at Rutgers University where I received a degree in animal science. I pursued my veterinary degree at Tufts University. While there, I developed more insight into ...
  • Dr. Lauren  Stoltze Photo
    Dr. Lauren Stoltze
    Growing up in a working-class neighborhood of the Bronx confirmed the importance of hard work and dedication, and I am proud to have those ideals manifest themselves in my practice of medicine. I take great joy from my relationships with patients and clients and being able to give a voice to those members of our families without one. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in biology with a dual concentration in ecology and molecular cell biology ...
  • Dr. Sharon  Greenhut Photo
    Dr. Sharon Greenhut
    I am a proud member of the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital team. I strive to be a loyal and compassionate doctor who always advocates for the thorough and fair treatment of those in need. I very much enjoy forming relationships with my patients and their owners, and I truly understand the human-animal bond. I am particularly well versed in the care of dogs and cats and enjoy meeting new clients and patients. I was born and raised in New York and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where I ...
  • Dr. Veronica  Hudson Photo
    Dr. Veronica Hudson
    I knew from a very early age that I wanted to become a veterinarian, but it wasn’t until I caught early heart failure in one of my cats (due to subtle breathing changes) as a teenager that I truly knew it was my calling. With this goal in mind, I pursued my undergraduate studies at Montclair State University where I received bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Psychology. Shortly thereafter, I was accepted to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the ...
  • Dr. Viktoriya  Zilberman Photo
    Dr. Viktoriya Zilberman
    I have been a proud member of the FLAH family since 2012. I can trace my love of animals back to my childhood, where Mickey, our family’s white terrier-mix, inspired my devotion. As a 5-year-old, I may have loved him a little too much back then. I don’t know how much he appreciated me painting his nails, giving him haircuts, and cuddling him like he was my favorite stuffed animal – but he was my best friend. Growing up in Bergen County, I donated my time volunteering at RBARI animal shelter ...
  • Dr. Wendy  Kozak Photo
    Dr. Wendy Kozak
    I have been at Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital since March of 2003. I originally grew up in Wrentham, Massachusetts. I graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 1997. Since then, I have practiced in Florida, Massachusetts, and currently in New Jersey. I moved to New Jersey after getting married to my husband, Dan, in October of 2002. I have two beautiful girls named Kasey and Madison. We share our home with one Boston Terrier named Jackson and one cat named ...
  • Dr. Anna  Ward Photo
    Dr. Anna Ward
    Born and raised in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, I continued on to receive my bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 2009. Prior to attending veterinary school, I worked as a certified veterinary technician in NJ for 6 years. It was these years spent working in the hospital that solidified my dream of one day becoming a veterinarian. I then went on to graduate with my degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. My clinical interests include ...
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