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Georgina Kent

How to care for an older pet


As your pet gets older they need a different and more specialised level of care. 

An old dog looking sad

We share our thoughts on some things you can do to help keep your pet in shape as they age, and things you need to keep an eye on and look out for.

Make sure you give them plenty of fuss  

An older person hugging an older dog

Not only is it a great relaxer for you, it’s calming and soothing to them.  It also gives you the opportunity to feel for any lumps and bumps. 

If you do find anything like that, be sure to take them straight to the vet to be checked.

Animals also become less and less comfortable with change as they age and can find it very stressful. 

It’s a good idea to try to be mindful of this if you’re making big plans (moving house, long holiday etc) and consult your vet.

Eating & drinking

A cat and a dog eating

Keep an eye on how much they’re eating and drinking.  An increase or decrease could be the sign that they’re not well. 

As dogs get older and not as mobile, they gain weight easier which puts increased stress on their joints.

If they start throwing up more than normal it could be a sign that they have a sensitive tummy and you might need to change their food to one for older pets.


A man taking 2 dogs for a walk in the woods

Your pet might not get around as well as it used to, or quite have that same spring in their step, but it still needs regular exercise. 

If you have a dog, maybe a leisurely stroll around your neighbourhood or a walk around the park. If you have a cat, try tempting them with some string, or a toy mouse or wand. 

Exercise will help them to stay young and keep their joints supple as they age.

Keep a close eye

A little boy keeping a close eye on his dog

Most importantly, keep an eye on your pet for changes.  

Whether that’s weight, how much they’re eating and drinking (both an increase and decrease should be cause for concern), if they have a cough, or even smelly breath. 

If you’re ever concerned, call your local vet, describe your concerns and they’ll let you know if they need to be seen.

Pet insurance for older dogs and cats

medical bill

Your pet insurer is there to cover any major expenses such as operations and in some cases, tests that your pet may need. 

As your pet gets older you might find they need more trips to the vet and treatment, so you may need to claim on your pet insurance more often than before.


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