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A Guide to Skincare, Dental, and Ear Care in Senior Pets

A Guide to Skincare, Dental, and Ear Care in Senior Pets

As our furry companions age, they may need specialised care to maintain their health and wellbeing. Just like us, senior pets can develop various age related issues, including skin problems, dental issues, and ear infections. In this blog post we will explore the importance of skincare, dental care, and ear care for senior pets and provide tips on how to keep them healthy and comfortable in their golden years. 

How can I improve my senior pet's skincare?  

As pets age their skin becomes more fragile and prone to dryness, irritation and infections. Proper skincare is essential to prevent and manage skin issues in senior pets. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy skin in senior pets: 

  1. Regular Grooming: Brushing your senior pet’s coat regularly helps remove loose fur, dirt and debris, preventing matting and skin irritation. Use a soft bristled brush or grooming mitt to avoid causing discomfort to sensitive skin.
  2. Moisturise dry skin: Older pets may experience dry skin due to reduced oil production. Consider using mousturising shampoos that are specifically formulated for pets to hydrate their skin and coat. A shampoo such as PAW 2 in 1 Conditioning Shampoo For Dogs would be a good option. Additionally, omega 3 fatty acid supplements can help improve skin health and reduce inflammation.
  3. Check for lumps and bumps: Perform regular skin inspections to look for any lumps, bumps or unusual growths. Early detection of skin tumors or lesions can help with prompt veterinary intervention and treatment.
  4. Protect from the sun: Just like we can get burnt, our pets can suffer from sunburn and skin cancer. Limit your senior pet’s exposure to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours, and consider using pet safe sunscreen on exposed areas, such as nose and ears.
  5. Address allergies: Allergies can make skin issues worse in senior pets. If your pet shows signs of itching, redness, or irritation, consult your veterinarian to identify and address any underlying allergens that might be causing discomfort.

How to care for your senior pets' teeth  

Dental health is crucial for senior pets, as dental issues can lead to pain, discomfort, and systemic health problems. Here are some tips for maintaining your senior pet's dental health: 

  1. Regular dental check-ups: Schedule routine dental examinations with your veterinarian to assess your pet's oral health and detect any signs of dental disease, such as periodontal disease or tooth decay. 
  2. Brushing: Brushing your pet's teeth regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Use a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean your pet's teeth and gums such as Prozym Toothpaste Kit. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency of brushing sessions to allow your pet to get used to the process if you’ve never done it before. 
  3. Dental chews and toys: Provide your senior pet with dental chews or toys designed to promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar accumulation. Some popular brands include Greenies, Whimzees and VeggieDent. Look for products approved by veterinary dentists and avoid giving your pet toys that are too hard as they could damage their teeth. 
  4. Professional dental cleanings: In addition to home care, senior pets may benefit from professional dental cleanings performed by a veterinarian. These cleanings involve scaling the teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup and polishing to smooth the tooth surfaces. 
  5. Monitor for signs of dental disease: Keep an eye out for signs of dental problems, such as bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, or reluctance to eat. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment. 

Caring for your senior pets' ears 

Senior pets are prone to ear infections and other ear related issues due to factors such as reduced immunity and decreased mobility. Proper ear care can help prevent infections and keep your pet's ears clean and comfortable. Here's how to care for your senior pet's ears: 

  1. Regular cleaning: Clean your senior pet's ears regularly using a pet safe ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. A couple gentle products include PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner and Epi Otic Pet Ear and Skin Cleanser. gently wipe the outer ear canal with a cotton ball or soft cloth to remove dirt, wax, and debris. Avoid inserting anything into your pet's ear canal to prevent injury. 
  2. Check for signs of infection: Monitor your pet for signs of ear infections, such as redness, swelling, discharge, odour, or excessive scratching at the ears. If you suspect an ear infection, seek veterinary care promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. 
  3. Dry ears thoroughly: After bathing or swimming, ensure that your pet's ears are dried thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup, which can create a conducive environment for bacterial or fungal growth. 
  4. Trim excess hair: Excessive hair in and around the ear canal can trap dirt and moisture, increasing the risk of ear infections. Keep the hair around your pet's ears trimmed short to promote airflow and prevent buildup. 
  5. Avoid using cotton swabs: Refrain from using cotton swabs or other sharp objects to clean your pet's ears, as this can push debris deeper into the ear canal and cause injury. 

Senior pets need specialised care to maintain their overall health and wellbeing, including skincare, dental care, and ear care. By implementing preventative measures and addressing any issues fast, you can help ensure that your senior pet enjoys a comfortable and fulfilling life in their golden years. Regular veterinary checkups, proper grooming, and attentive home care are essential components of senior pet wellness and can contribute to their longevity and quality of life. 

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