Tips to Care for Your Aging Pet

We can all agree that dogs and cats all make our lives so much better. Pets are our closest companions, and like us, they may lose their agility and their level of activity drops considerably as they get older.

As our pets age, some special care is required to prolong their lives and keep them as comfortable as possible. Their dietary needs will change, and visits to the vet will become more important (and frequent) than before. In addition, however, it’s extremely important to keep them active and engaged … and we can help!

Club Pet was one of the first doggie daycares in Michigan, and we’re experts at caring for your beloved pet. Whether they need a little extra attention for an afternoon, or full-time care while you’re away on vacation, we’re always happy to help.

Benefits of Daycare for Older Pets

As your dog or cat gets older, you may start to notice behavioral changes. They may start to exhibit signs of loneliness, especially now that more pet parents are returning to the office and leaving them home alone. Socialization is important at any age, and that’s why daycare is a great option for the health and wellness of older dogs and cats.

Our philosophy is simple: make the pets in our care feel loved, and love them all. We care for pets from 13 weeks old all the way through their golden years, no matter their special needs. We carefully structure their introductions to give them the time and space they need to be successful. And as they show more confidence, they are given more freedom to interact with additional playmates.

Signs of Aging Pets

To better care for older pets will hinge on your ability to discern the signs of old age. Knowing what to look for will help you to track changes in behaviors and take the appropriate action. Some of the most noticeable physical signs of old age include;

  • Clouded/teary eyes
  • Graying/thinning hair coat
  • Sudden changes in appetite
  • Dietary intolerance
  • Loneliness

Besides these physical signs and symptoms, you may also notice some behavioral changes. Increased aggression, longer stimuli response time, and sleep cycle changes are all signs that your dog or cat is getting older, and possibly, becoming uncomfortable. If you see behavioral changes, it’s time to act … your pet may need more than just a hug! Socialization, mental stimulation, and lots of playtime can go a long way toward helping curb behaviors stemming from boredom or loneliness.

Here are few tips to help your pet get through these tumultuous times.

Lifestyle Adjustments for Senior Pets

Some pets lose muscle mass and suffer from conditions like arthritis, neck pains, sprains, and fractures. Your once springy friend will require some changes to accommodate their new senior status. Consider making some tweaks around the house to provide a more comfortable living arrangement for your aging pet. Adding more rugs on the floor to provide some traction, installing a litter box with lowered sides, and adding some “pet steps” to the bed or sofa are some small (but significant) changes that will help prolong a happy healthy life for your beloved pet.

While they’re in our care, we will take all the necessary precautions to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. While some facilities kennel dogs for long periods, provide short play sessions, and sometimes provide no private space at all. Club Pet dogs get 1-hour long breaks at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This gives them time to dine, rest, and decompress which is ideal for older dogs.

Keep them Mentally Engaged

Aging pets, like humans, can also experience a decline in cognitive ability. In pets, the condition is referred to as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS. As your pet ages, it is not just their body that tires, their mental capacity declines as well. Play time will no longer feel the same.

When this happens, your pet should not be left alone to their own devices! Keeping them active will stimulate and rejuvenate their mind and keep them engaged. Daycare is a great option while you’re away at work. And at home, puzzle toys and hidden treats around the house are an excellent way to keep your pets happy and healthy in their old age.

Regular Exercise

Obesity is as much a human problem as it is a pet problem. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention states that over half the population of dogs are overweight. Obesity reduces a pet’s life span, increases the risk of metabolic diseases, and triggers orthopedic complications.

There is plenty of time to play at daycare, and all the fresh air and exercise will work wonders on your aging pet. It’s especially important if busy work schedules limit time for walks. We know physical fitness is as crucial for aging pets as it is for younger animals which is why we’ve prepared outdoor yards for active play time at both of our convenient locations!


Aging pets require grooming, especially for long-haired dogs. Regular grooming helps a dog feel more relaxed, promotes healthier skin, and improves general body condition. Grooming also reveals hidden injuries and sucker parasites such as fleas.

We provide all-breed pet grooming in the hands of experienced professional groomers – not just the simple bathing provided by most daycare or boarding facilities. On top of that, our grooming clients enjoy all the care that our guests receive- large facilities, a loving staff providing for their needs, and if you choose, free daycare!

Enjoying the companionship of a senior pet can be a wonderful experience, even if it takes a little extra effort. Older dogs and cats may not be as quick and agile, but they will be happy and healthy and provide you with many years of companionship. Please contact us to schedule your pet’s next visit. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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