Expert Tips to Support and Celebrate Aging Pets

News Direct

Jun 18, 2024

–News Direct–

Many pet owners struggle with the reality of their furry friends aging. Dr. Stacey Bone, veterinarian and senior pet advocate with Hill’s Pet Nutrition recently talked about the importance of embracing, not fearing, this natural process and how proper nutrition and care can help pets live bold in their older years.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/nhs96_Yu3Uc

According to a 2019 study by The American Animal Hospital Association, 80% of pet owners do not realize the age at which their pet is considered a senior pet – which is typically age 7. Just like humans, pets’ biology changes as they age, but getting older doesn't have to make life any less exciting. Pet parents fear aging, because “getting old” is associated with slowing down and losing the spirit and vibrancy that makes their pets special. The fear associated with owning a senior pet can potentially lead to inadequate care for senior pets, resulting in health issues and decreased quality of life.

There are attainable ways to support your senior pet’s changing needs. Knowing how to best care for your pet – from tailored nutrition for senior pets to regular veterinary care – can help pet parents continue to experience a full life together.  

Tailored Nutrition for Senior Pets

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is raising awareness of the unique nutritional needs of senior pets and how important it is to switch to a food designed specifically for seniors, such as Hill’s Science Diet Senior Vitality.

The right nutrition can help senior pets live life to the fullest, so it is important to transition your pet to a senior pet food that meets his or her needs. Hill’s Science Diet Senior Vitality is made for older pets’ changing biology, including balanced minerals for heart and kidney health, omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E for healthy skin and coat, and easy-to-digest ingredients to support digestion. Hill’s Science Diet Senior Vitality improves senior pets’ everyday ability to get up and go. It features nutrition that can help support the brain function, interaction and overall energy and vitality of your senior pet. In a clinical study, pet parents observed increased affection and stamina in as little as 28 days when their pets ate Senior Vitality dry dog food.

The best food for aging pets is one formulated to keep up with their changing nutritional requirements. Talk with your veterinarian to ensure your dog or cat is getting the right nutrition at each lifestage.  

Encouraging Senior Pet Adoption

There are many animals in shelters across the nation who need homes, and some of the most overlooked pets include seniors. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is encouraging people to consider opening their hearts and homes to a senior pet in a shelter.

Senior pets tend to spend the longest time at shelters and are often viewed as unadoptable based on the misperception that they likely have behavioral issues. In reality, many of these animals were companions to elderly people who passed away or moved to an assisted living facility.

Only 25% of senior pets get adopted, compared to a 60% adoption rate for younger pets, according to the ASPCA. Puppies and kittens are cute, but they also need a ton of extra attention and training. On the other hand, senior pets are overflowing with love and their laid-back personalities make them perfect for lots of different homes.

Along with expert care from shelter staff, quality nutrition can play a vital role in helping shelter pets be healthy, happy and more adoptable. That’s why Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program provides science-led nutrition to hundreds of shelters across North America, helping more than 14 million pets find new homes since 2002.

For more information, visit hillspet.com and search ‘Senior Care’ to learn more about care and nutrition for senior pets.

About Dr. Stacey Bone:

Dr. Stacey Bone brings over 16 years of expertise to his role as a small animal veterinarian, where he currently serves both as a relief veterinarian and as a senior brand manager at Hill's Pet Nutrition. Within Hill's, he is part of the Prescription Diet marketing team, driving the company's strategic vision in the U.S. market.

With a heartfelt commitment to geriatric pet care, Dr. Bone focuses on areas critical to the health of senior pets, including advanced nutrition, comprehensive disease management, and the importance of preventive care. That passion led him to found a company dedicated to creating products that address the unique issues of senior pets. His work is characterized by a deep understanding of veterinary science, coupled with genuine care for his animal patients.

Dr. Bone is an advocate for educating pet parents about the impactful role that nutrition plays in senior pet health:

“Most pet parents do not like to acknowledge that their pet is getting older, but celebrating aging, rather than fearing it, can help those animals live long, full lives. In partnership with your veterinarian, it is important to transition your pet to a senior pet food that meets his or her needs. Providing age-appropriate nutrition supports overall energy and mobility and can help pets live life to the fullest.”

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