Geriatric Pets

Facts to Consider

Being away from home can be more stressful for older pets than for younger ones. They are more set in their ways, and their patterns more deeply ingrained. Dogs and cats love patterns, knowing what is going to happen and when. Changing those patterns can be upsetting to some.

Additionally, geriatric pets are more likely to have underlying health problems. Deafness and blindness are not uncommon in senior pets. Kidney, heart, and liver disease are often associated with age. Arthritis and other degenerative conditions can make it more difficult for a senior pet to get around. Boarding, especially if your pet has never boarded or boarded infrequently, may cause these conditions to become apparent or worsen. Ideally, you would want your senior pet to be in a special area to make it easier for them to get around and easier for staff to care for them.

Immunization and Medications

Be honest about any known medical conditions your pet may have. Our staff will be better able to recognize problems with particular conditions if they know what to look for. Special care may need to be taken to handle and feed your senior pet as well. Take along all medications your pet may need during their stay and be extremely clear on what they need. If your dog or cat is on several medications or a complicated dosage schedule, a small chart or pill organizer will help staff keep the treatments on time. Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are all up to date which includes the Bordetella vaccine. Older pets can be more susceptible to diseases and viruses, so the more up to date the vaccine, the better. Leave the boarding facility with an emergency number, and it is also recommended you inform your veterinarian that you will be away and someone else will be caring for your pet. If a problem arises during your pet’s stay, personnel must be able to reach you or someone who can speak on your behalf to make any decisions about your pet’s well being. If your boarding facility must seek veterinary care, you as the owner, will be financially responsible for your pet’s treatment.

Stress is a Factor

Many older pets have underlying conditions or undiagnosed illnesses that are not readily apparent. Stress plays an important role regarding your pet’s health. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors: being away from home and loved ones, a new unfamiliar environment, other dogs or cats, new smells, noises and people, etc.

The pituitary gland releases a hormone called ACTH into the bloodstream, which in turn signals the adrenal gland to release epinephrine and other natural steroids. Each of these products serves to get the body ready to react. Stress helps animals (and people) cope with a situation. However, when stress is not relieved or reduced sufficiently, the body does not have a chance to rest and cleanse itself of the excessive hormones. Since the immune system stops working, even bacteria or viruses can now cause illness. This is why your pet can become ill away from home, even when he or she appeared normal when you dropped them off.

In reality, no one can make your pet ill. Your boarding facility is responsible to provide a clean, safe environment and monitor the health of the pets left in their care. Your boarding facility will try their absolute hardest to prevent your pet from becoming ill while boarding.

Our Senior Pets

We have steps in place to help your pet cope with stress. These pets are provided with additional attention and a special boarding area with extra bedding at all times. We can do any special diets your senior pet may need. We want your senior pet to go home happy and healthy. Discuss your pet’s individual needs and health conditions in advance, along with what to do if something changes.

Remember, we are doing this because we love all animals, young, old, big or small. We want your boarding experience to be pleasant for both you and your pet, so we will work together for the senior in your family.