Caring For Your Senior Pet


Senior pets often have additional medical needs, and require a little bit more care than your middle aged or younger pet. Of note, if you feel your pet’s behavior has varied significantly from its norm, please consult a qualified veterinarian to provide care for your pet.

senior pet

Our 14 1/2 year old dachshund, Skippy.!

In my experience here are some important things to consider when caring for your senior pet:

  • Senior pets may develop arthritis and a plush orthopedic bed or kennel pad can help ease those old joints.
  • Senior pets may slow down.  Our 14 1/2 year old dachshund rests a lot, and prefers not to go for long walks.
  • Senior pets may have behavioral changes*.  As he has aged, our dachshund could best be described as crotchety.  He’ll let us know when he wants quality snuggle time, doesn’t want pets, and when he wants to be left alone.  We respect his wishes.
  • Dental care can prolong your pet’s life.  February is pet dental month, and many veterinarians run specials during that month to encourage people to care for their pets’ teeth.
  • Senior pets may not be able to “hold it” as long as they could when they were younger.  If this is the case, shortening the length of your time away from your pet, laying out pee pads, or having a trusted neighbor or friend take your pet out, are all options for dealing with this issue.
  • They are still your pet, and only know your love.  Please care for your pet to the end of its life, and make arrangements for your pet in your will.

For more information from the American Veterinary Medical Association on caring for and issues that may arise with your senior pet, read their article, here.

senior pets

Senior Skippy with younger Dexer (right) and Rawlin (lower left)

Do you have a senior pet?

What’s your best tip for caring for a senior pet?

Disclaimer:  My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.  If you feel your pet’s behavior has varied significantly from its norm, please consult a qualified veterinarian to receive quality care for your pet.  This posting is not to be construed as medical advice, nor am I am a veterinary medical professional.


  1. says

    Our Great Dane is 4, and Boxer is 1, so we have a few more years before we will need to put many of these tips into practice. This is a very informative post. Thanks for sharing

  2. says

    I don’t have any more pets. Our dog had to be put down many years ago, and I couldn’t bear to do that again to another pet. Patience is key withing any living thing…animal or human. Thanks for sharing!

    • Elizabeth says

      My condolences. We’ve lost a few wonderful dogs over the years. Their memories still tug at my heartstrings. Patience is absolutely necessary!

  3. says

    Oh I miss my Tory, she passed about a year ago in October. She had a tumor but left us happy and comfortable. I think the best is to start getting physicals to look at their health. Good food and lots of love and patience.

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