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Foster Animal Hospital, Keeping Senior Pets More Active

Old Long-Haired Grey Cat with Yellow Eyes on Railing

The good news is that pets are living longer than ever through better nutrition and vet care, combined with more responsible pet ownership. But, just as is the case with humans, middle age and senior years necessitate more vigilance around health, including more frequent exams and medical tests. Senior pets should be seen for an exam twice each year and receive lab work annually. Trust us to help keep your dog or cat healthy and comfortable during his or her golden years.

A: For cats, the senior years begin between 9–10 years of age. For dogs, this will vary by breed and size, and some dogs are considered senior at 7. Smaller dogs tend to be longer-lived. The senior years are considered the last 25% of the animal’s life expectancy.

A: You may notice a general “slowing down” and loss of mental or sensory acuity. Sight, hearing, taste, and smell may be diminished. Your pet is also at higher risk for age-related illnesses or diseases.

A: Common age-related difficulties include:

  • Kidney, heart, and liver disease
  • Diabetes, thyroid problems, and other hormone disorders
  • Cancers and tumors
  • Incontinence and behavior issues
  • Loss of mobility and joint pain
  • Cognitive dysfunction, sometimes referred to as canine senility

A: You will want to increase the frequency of exams to twice a year, since early detection is critical. It is likely that we will run more detailed diagnostics, such as lab, blood, and imaging tests. At home, keep your pet active and include playing and training in his or her routine. Follow a healthy diet, and keep your pet’s weight under control.

Dogs and Arthritis

For many dogs, osteoarthritis affects quality of life through chronic pain and reduced mobility. You might notice your dog walking stiffly after a nap or having trouble going up or down stairs. At Foster Animal Hospital, our rehab-certified veterinarians and technician have trained to perform orthopedic treatments and specialized canine rehabilitation.. We are here to help your buddy regain the spring in his step.

Click here for more information on senior pet care.