Is your pet a senior? On average, dogs and cats are considered seniors around seven years of age, but this varies depending on size and breed. The senior stage of life is an important one to plan for because dogs and cats become prone to various health issues as they grow older. At Clarion Animal Hospital, we help older pets enjoy their golden years by providing tailored senior pet care that targets each individual’s needs. From early detection and disease prevention to senior nutrition, our veterinarians can help your companion maintain a comfortable, happy life.
DOG YEARS VS HUMAN YEARS
7 DOG YEARS = 44 – 56 YEARS
10 DOG YEARS = 56 – 78 YEARS
15 DOG YEARS = 76 – 115 YEARS
20 DOG YEARS = 96 – 120 YEARS
CAT YEARS VS HUMAN YEARS
7 CAT YEARS = 54 YEARS
10 CAT YEARS = 63 YEARS
15 CAT YEARS = 78 YEARS
20 CAT YEARS = 97 YEARS
We Recommend Biannual Wellness Exams for Seniors
Biannual (every six months) wellness exams are recommended for senior dogs and cats, because they are more prone to illness and infection. Their health can also change rapidly, so it’s important for us to monitor your pet’s condition more frequently.
Conditions that often affect senior pets include:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Periodontal disease
A nose-to-tail examination, routine blood work, and possible X-rays can help us keep up with any changes to your pet’s overall condition. If we find anything concerning during their checkup, we can explain the situation to you and propose treatment options to help your pet.
Senior dogs and cats may struggle to get around like they used to at home. This is normal, but there are things you can do to reduce the struggle and ensure your pet can still access various parts of the house whenever they want. Use non-slip floor runners in areas that might be slippery for your pet (hardwood floors and tiles can be tricky for seniors to navigate). You can also place small ramps near the couch, a favorite chair, and the bed so your pet can still reach.
Your pet might be long in the tooth, but they still enjoy exercise! You can ensure your pet gets the activity they need every day without overexerting themselves. Leisurely walks and short playtimes can keep your pet mobile, prevent weight gain, and provide much-needed physical and mental enrichment.
Cushion your pet’s old bones with thick, soft bedding. Cushioning supports aching joints and can help to reduce stiffness of the joints and muscles.
A Healthy Senior-Specific Diet
Dogs and cats will require different types and quantities of nutrients as they get older. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendations to meet your pet’s caloric and nutritional needs.
Observation of Behavior & Habits
Be sure to monitor your pet’s habits and behaviors each day so you can more easily see if something seems “off.” Changes in behavior and daily habits could signify a health problem. Take note of anything unusual and contact your vet to see if a checkup is needed.