We consider pets that are
SEVEN YEARS OLD
or older to be senior-aged pets. At this stage in their lives, dogs and cats are more susceptible to contracting health issues.
Getting Older Means Going to the Vet More Often
Just as our health care needs change as we age, your pet’s health care needs also change. Nutritional needs, exercise habits, and many aspects of your pet’s daily routine can change as your pet ages. But how can you tell the difference between “normal” aging and a medical problem? As in humans, some health issues that affect older pets can begin with very subtle changes that may go unnoticed until the problem has become serious. At this stage in their lives, dogs and cats are more susceptible to contracting health issues, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
We recommend bringing your senior pet to our facility at least twice a year for head-to-tail examinations and evaluations, vaccinations and lab tests. Regular wellness visits are important for every stage of your pet’s life, so don’t forget to keep your senior pet’s scheduled wellness appointments. The best way to help protect your pet as he or she ages is to understand the aging process in pets. We understand that process and can help you help your pet. Even if your senior pet is already being treated for a medical condition, treatment recommendations can change as a condition progresses. Sometimes medication dosages need to be adjusted, or medication may need to be changed. Routine wellness blood work and other routine diagnostic testing are important for senior pets because these tests allow us to evaluate how your pet’s health is either responding to current management strategies or changing with age.
- MOBILITY AIDS – Senior pets may not be able to get around as easily as they used to. You can provide assistance by placing ramps for access to high areas like beds and furniture and adding rugs for improved traction on slippery flooring.
- EXERCISE – Exercise is just as important for senior pets as it is for younger pets. It keeps them mobile, boosts their mood and impedes weight gain.
- COMFORTABLE BEDDING – If you haven’t already done so, consider providing your senior pet with a soft, supportive bed for naptime and bedtime.
- HEALTHY DIET – Aging pets should eat food that is tailored to their age group for optimal digestion and caloric intake.
- CAREFUL MONITORING – Keep a lookout for changes in your pet’s behavior and mood, as they may indicate a health condition. Pay special attention to eating, drinking, sleeping and bathroom patterns. Make sure to let your vet know about any changes.