Pets are considered seniors between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, depending on their size. Of course, with advances in veterinary medicine and thoughtful care at home, they can live long past that benchmark. But that doesn’t mean their needs won’t shift slightly. If you’ve had the privilege of watching your pet grow up from infancy through adulthood and beyond, it can be a trial at first to make the right changes. Senior pets can live a long time, especially when you know how to help.
A Single Year
Cats and dogs age faster than humans. While a single year may not seem like a lot to us, those 12 months actually encompass a large amount of a pet’s lifetime.
They also age differently from each other. Dogs (especially larger breeds) have senior needs starting around 7 years old; cats are typically 10 years old before they show significant signs of slowing down.
Senior pets can continue to live their lives like they previously did, but they benefit from routine screenings and examinations. Roughly 40% of all households care for at least one senior pet; 15% visit the vet on a regular basis.
Why It Matters
Many age-related conditions can be prevented or slowed down when we make an early diagnosis. Senior pets should be examined twice a year in order to stay on top of any potentially developing diseases and to address life-saving or sustaining treatments.
An understanding of an animal’s individual health history goes a long way toward quick comparison of present issues. A baseline is what we’ve established throughout your pet’s life, and it allows us to gain insight into current or developing problems.
Common age-related diseases of senior pets include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Eye disease, like glaucoma or cataracts
- Hip dysplasia
- Kidney disease
- Tumors that turn malignant
- Thyroid conditions
Care for Senior Pets
To help your pet enjoy and embrace their golden years, it’s important to keep scheduled wellness exams. We conduct a thorough nose-to-tail physical that includes attention to the teeth, gums, eyes, and ears. Changes to the skin and internal organs can be observed via palpating the body.
Diagnostics are critical in addressing the needs of senior pets. We often run these tests to gain insight into an animal’s health
- Complete blood count
- Biochemistry profile
Through these, we can create a treatment plan that mitigates potential pain and reduces other conditions that plague senior pets. We can also help you with top-notch senior nutrition and knowing what exercise options are still viable.
The longest, healthiest, happiest life is definitely within your pet’s reach. If we can assist you with any questions or concerns, please contact us.