Depending on your cat or dog's breed, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions, they may start displaying signs of aging at different points. As your pet ages, so does their internal and external organs. Our job is to help you support their overall well-being throughout their senior years to ensure you continue to enjoy a long and happy life together.
How often will my senior cat or dog need veterinary visits?
Most senior pets need to visit us at least 2 times per year. During these appointments, we conduct a comprehensive exam to assess their overall health. One benefit of routine diagnostic testing is we're able to detect underlying health issues, including chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disease, and kidney disease early on. Early diagnosis allows us to create a treatment plan specific to your dog or cat's condition, to limit any negative effects the disease could have on their health.
After which birthday is my pet considered a senior?
Small cats and dogs are considered seniors after their 9th birthday, whereas old age comes a bit earlier for middle-sized and large dogs at around 6-years-old. Some cats and dogs don't start showing signs of aging like greying hair or loss of hearing immediately. Ultimately, you know your pet best and we can help you determine when they've entered their senior years. Other signs of aging include:
- Aversion to familiar objects or people
- More barking or whining
- Vision loss
- Soiling your home
How can I help my dog or cat transition to this new stage?
At every stage of your cat or dog's life, they need your support. However, support for a senior pet can look different. For example, it's especially important to ensure your pet remains mentally stimulated by playing and taking them for walks in new environments. Consistency is also key so keeping their water and food bowls in the same place, ensuring their bed is in an accessible spot, and maintaining a feeding schedule are vital. We will help you make adjustments to your pet's food, including adjusting their caloric intake and providing nutrient-rich options that provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they need. If you'd like a book an appointment for your senior pet, please contact us at 709-256-3891.