As they enter their senior years, pets require special care to address age-related health issues and changing needs. Our veterinary team will do everything it can to maintain your pet’s high quality of life into old age.
What are the signs of aging in pets?
Signs of aging can be hard to notice, since many animals do a good job of hiding joint stiffness (especially cats). Other signs like difficulty moving, weight loss or gain, change in appetite and water consumption, or change in habits (less interaction, change in litter use, etc.) can mean that your four-legged friend is entering their senior years.
At what age is my pet considered a senior?
Aging and life expectancy differs between pets depending on many factors. Cats generally live longer than dogs, even though large dogs have a shorter life expectancy than smaller dogs. An animal can be considered middle-aged at around seven years old.
What are common health problems for senior pets?
Senior cats and dogs can suffer from osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, periodontal disease, cataracts, cancer and obesity. Cats tend to suffer from a hyperactive thyroid, while dogs most often have an underactive thyroid. Older dogs may also experience cognitive dysfunction (dementia).
How can I best support my pet during this new stage of their life?
A yearly checkup at the vet remains vital. We recommend annual blood and urine tests to prevent certain problems and detect any issues before the onset of symptoms. Your pet’s diet should also be reconsidered, since nutritional requirements change with age. You might also need to adapt your dog’s or cat’s usual exercise routine, games or walks to their new rhythm.