Just like people, as your pets age they need more and different types of care. Unlike humans, animals age much faster and more dramatically which can be scary for pet owners if they don’t have a trusted veterinary partner to help them understand the process in advance. Animals are also very susceptible to diseases, like heart disease and kidney problems, which can have a rapid onset.
Fortunately, the majority of debilitating problems associated age in most animals can be remedied or eased when detected early.
This is why we want every animal who comes to our clinic to visit us at least once a year: to catch potentially life-threatening diseases as soon as possible and keeping your pet happy, healthy, and with your family as long as possible.
When is my animal considered a “senior”?
While this varies by species and breed, here are some general rules of thumb:
- Small breeds: 11 years
- Medium-sized breeds: 10 years
- Larger breeds: 8 years
- Giant-breeds: 7 years
- Senior: 11-14 years
- Super-Senior: 15+ years
Has it been more than a year since your senior pet visited the vet? Schedule an appointment today to ensure they are in good health.
Basic Senior Pet Care Advice
Make their life easy as they age. Keep food, water, (and litterboxes, for cats) all on one level of the home, and make it very easily accessible to your senior pet. Do not make them travel through the entire house and up, or down stairs to eat, drink, or potty.
Their skin and joints are aging. Keep soft lounging surfaces around the house to protect the skin at their hips and elbows, and keep senior dogs on as many non-skid surfaces as possible. Memory foam bath mats, yoga mats, rubber-backed rugs, etc.. can help your senior if your house is mostly vinyl, hardwood, or tile.
Most of our seniors should be on senior food. Some of our favorites include but are not limited to: Hill's Science Diet Senior 7+, Science Diet Prescription JD, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind, and JM. Questions? Ask us!
All senior pets should be on some type of joint supplement. Dasuquin Advanced are our favorite, and the feline version comes in a tasteless granule that you mix into their food daily. If you would like more information, or more options, bring your questions to us during your senior's exam. There are a lot of safe prescription meds on the market now that can help your pet age gracefully and painlessly.
NEVER GIVE YOUR DOG OR CAT HUMAN PAIN MEDICATION. THESE CAUSE SEVERE AND OFTEN IRREVERSIBLE KIDNEY AND LIVER FAILURE.
Their vision isn't what it used to be. Keep lights on at night until bed time to help them get around the house, and keep lights on in the backyard when they're out for night time potty breaks. Keep dogs on a leash if their vision is very poor, so they don't get lost or disoriented.
There's so much more info out there, and we're excited to share it. Let's discuss at their senior visit!