Friday, April 20, 2012

Senior Pets and Children-Lap of Love

Senior Pets and Children

As our pets age their behavior towards family and other children sometimes change.  The once sweet, loving, would never hurt a fly senior pet may suddenly become aggressive towards the children they have grown up with. 
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There are several factors that need to be considered when your senior’s attitude takes a turn for the worst.  It could be something as simple as hearing loss to the more complicated pain that comes with aging.  When a pet becomes “hard of hearing” or deaf they may be startled when a child approaches.  As most children are moving quite quickly, the first and very natural response is for the pet to snap and growl or hiss and scratch.  Typically it does not lead to injury but it certainly gets everyone’s attention.  The same response can occur when our pets lose their vision as well.  Being both blind and deaf can make a pet that much more anxious towards children.   A painful pet may defend itself because it cannot get up and out of the way fast enough.

To secure the safety of our senior pets and children there are a few simple things to remember.  Ask the children to approach slowly and quietly.  This will allow most pets to assess the situation and react appropriately.  It is best for smaller dogs and for cats to remind the kids that they can be “a little grouchy” when picked up and to just pet them gently where they are resting.  For pets that sleep very soundly ask children to just avoid contact completely as they will most likely be startled no matter what.   

Painful pets just need a little help.  Speak with your veterinarian about special diets, glucosamine and/or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) or other pain medications.  If your pet is more comfortable they are less likely to be aggressive and may even act a few years younger!

Blog Written by:
Holly Kiernicki, DVM
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In Home Euthanasia

Dr. Holly services the great Dallas, Texas area including: 
~ Frisco ~ Denton ~ Allen ~ Fairview
~ Dallas ~ McKinney ~Celina ~ Little Elm
~ Plano ~ The Colony ~ Carrollton ~ Heath
~ Prosper ~ Richardson ~ Rowlett ~ Wylie
~ Garland ~ Mesquite ~ Rockwall ~ Highland Park

(Blog Posted by Mary Gardner, DVM)

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