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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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STEPS FOR A HEALTHIER OLDER PET

Any animal over 8 years of age is considered an older animal, and some extra care from you can help them stay healthy for many more years. As an animal ages their energy requirements, exercise patterns, and veterinary needs change. The following steps will help maintain optimum health.
*Feed a diet specially formulated for senior pets. Older animals require different levels of proteins, fats, and vitamins.
*Take pets to the veterinarian at least once or twice a year, especially if any behavioral changes occur. Vaccines should be administered once a year to help boost the immune system.
*Exercise moderately with walks and/or short periods of play to maintain muscle tone and limit weight gain.
*Check pet's teeth regularly and have them cleaned by a veterinarian and at home. Periodontal disease can result in infection of internal organs.
*Massage and pet your animal thoroughly at least once a week. Check for any lumps, bumps, or lesions. New developments should be checked by a veterinarian.
*Senior pets may require bathing at more frequent intervals and with medicated shampoos and conditioners.
*Maintain a stable routine and environment to minimize stress.
*Spaying or neutering your pet will reduce risk of some cancers, uterine infections, and prostatic disease.
Editor's note: Dr. Laura Palminteri Practices veterinary medicine at Cruz Bay Canines, Cats & Critters on St. John. A 1991 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, she practiced small animal and equine medicine in New York before opening her practice on St. John.

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Any animal over 8 years of age is considered an older animal, and some extra care from you can help them stay healthy for many more years. As an animal ages their energy requirements, exercise patterns, and veterinary needs change. The following steps will help maintain optimum health.
*Feed a diet specially formulated for senior pets. Older animals require different levels of proteins, fats, and vitamins.
*Take pets to the veterinarian at least once or twice a year, especially if any behavioral changes occur. Vaccines should be administered once a year to help boost the immune system.
*Exercise moderately with walks and/or short periods of play to maintain muscle tone and limit weight gain.
*Check pet's teeth regularly and have them cleaned by a veterinarian and at home. Periodontal disease can result in infection of internal organs.
*Massage and pet your animal thoroughly at least once a week. Check for any lumps, bumps, or lesions. New developments should be checked by a veterinarian.
*Senior pets may require bathing at more frequent intervals and with medicated shampoos and conditioners.
*Maintain a stable routine and environment to minimize stress.
*Spaying or neutering your pet will reduce risk of some cancers, uterine infections, and prostatic disease.
Editor's note: Dr. Laura Palminteri Practices veterinary medicine at Cruz Bay Canines, Cats & Critters on St. John. A 1991 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, she practiced small animal and equine medicine in New York before opening her practice on St. John.