Senior pets are special members of the family. Even though they may be slowing down a bit, they still like to snuggle and even occasionally play like they did when they were younger. Our senior pets need special care in order to remain healthy as they age. With proper care, diet, suitable exercise, and medical supervision our senior pets can live long and happy lives.
Special Nutrition and Health
Obesity and diabetes are both serious concerns for the senior pet. As their activity level declines, it is important to make sure their food does not contain more calories than their bodies can use.
We carry diets that are age and breed appropriate to keep your older pet fit and trim instead of fat and unhealthy. Overweight senior animals are also more likely to suffer from arthritis and join pain as opposed to their healthy weight counterparts.
Senior Visits and Screenings
Along with routine vaccines visits, senior pets should be seen more regularly by their veterinarian. During a senior wellness exam, the same basic checks and routine lab tests will be performed to form a baseline and identify any changes in your pet’s health. These more frequent visits will make it more likely that serious health problems can be identified before they become major health concerns.
Your veterinarian will also recommend a more extensive blood work panel in order to keep close tabs on the functioning of your pet's major organs. Your veterinarian will discuss any changes that need to be made in the care of your senior pet, such as an age appropriate diet or pain control for arthritic changes.
Sometimes older pets may have behavioral problems that were not a problem when he or she was younger. These can be caused by pain, poor eyesight, poor hearing, or other health problems. Make sure to tell your veterinarian about any change in your senior pet's personality as this may be a clue about a potential health issue.
Different breeds of dogs age differently. Small dogs do not enter their senior years as early as larger breeds. Most breeds of dogs should start receiving senior care around 7 years old, and most cats around 8 years old.