Caring For Your Senior Pet
Seven years of age is typically when pets enter their golden years and need a little extra TLC to stay healthy, comfortable, and active. Since the immune systems of senior pets gradually decline with age, it's important to visit us at least twice a year and let us know right away if you observe any behavioral or health changes at home.
To prevent, manage, or treat age-related conditions, more frequent health screenings are encouraged. This way, we can closely monitor changing health trends and address health concerns during early stages. Common age-related conditions include arthritis, diabetes, thyroid issues, progressive organ dysfunction, dental disease, and cancer, among others.
Special Wellness Recommendations for Senior Pets:
- Semi-annual wellness exams allow us to follow any health changes in your senior pet, which is especially important because age-related conditions can develop in a short period of time
- Bloodwork detects anemia and infections, as well as age-related health concerns like diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, and more
- X-rays pinpoint areas of concern that may be unidentifiable with physical exams or bloodwork, like arthritis and cancer
- Urinalysis gauges your pet's overall health condition, and is commonly used to test for urinary tract infections, diabetes, and liver disease
Behavior changes are common in senior pets. Expect these changes, be patient, and consider adapting your home and routine to help keep your senior pet as comfortable as possible through the aging process. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Feed a nutritious diet to prevent weight gain and preserve muscle
- Continue daily playtime, but play gentler and in shorter amounts of time
- Provide nonslip surfaces like carpeting or mats, especially for larger dogs
- Consider providing steps to sleeping surfaces, like the bed or couch
- Switch to a low sided litter box for cats
- Groom your cat more often, especially in hard-to-reach spots