Supporting Your Pet Through the Golden Years
Whether you and your companion have grown up together or you’ve recently acquired an aging pet, caring for a senior cat or dog can be an amazing experience. However, just like puppies and kittens, senior pets also have unique needs and considerations.
While every animal is different, most cats are considered senior at the age of 10, and most dogs are termed senior around age 7. Common problems to check for include:
- Dental disease
- Kidney disease
To help prevent the onset of common age-related conditions, your veterinarian will focus on the following:
- Early detection of disease
- Frequency of veterinary visits
- Increased parasite control
- Lifestyle / Environmental changes
- Maintaining mobility
- Management of chronic diseases
- Mental health and awareness
Senior Wellness Visits
At Companion Animal Hospital, we recommend twice yearly wellness exams and annual diagnostic screenings for senior pets. These tests help us identify underlying health issues and aid in early detection efforts. In general, it’s important to evaluate any change (big or small) in an aging pet. For example, if your cat or dog seems to be moving slower than usual, it may be an indication of pain, not simply old age.
Just like humans, it’s important to consider nutritional changes that may be necessary to support senior health. Weight gain can put a lot of strain on joints and increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes. On the other hand, drastic weight loss can be a sign of serious health problems. If you have any concerns or observe a change in your senior pet’s eating habits, please contact us.
Supporting a Senior Lifestyle
As always, our goal at Companion Animal Hospital is to maintain a high quality of life for your pet. With this in mind, our team will help you explore any environmental changes that may be necessary as your pet ages. To ensure comfort and ease of mobility, you might consider factors such as where your pet’s bed is located or where he or she eats. In general, loud noises, new people, and sudden disruptions should be avoided. Also try incorporating regular play and exercise into your pet’s day. Maintaining mental and physical health is essential and, of course, it’s important to always provide lots of love and attention.
On the Web
American Association of Feline Practitioners:
American Veterinary Medical Association: