There is no specific age at which a dog or cat becomes “senior”. Individual animals and body systems age at different rates. Generally dogs and cats over 8 years of age are considered “mature” and over 10 years of age considered “senior or geriatric” With good care and attention to subtle changes in health many dogs and cats can live well into their teens- some cats into their twenties.
The inevitable biological changes associated with aging result in a progressive reduction in the ability to cope with normal physical, environmental and physiological stresses of every day life. Early detection of age related disease can result in early treatment or control and lead to a longer and happier life for your pet.
It is recommended that mature and senior pets have a regular wellness exam and blood work to assess their overall health. The health issues with an older pet are often different than that of a middle-aged adult.
The health of your pet can change rapidly as he or she ages and changes can go unnoticed. Early intervention leads to a lifetime of good health.
How to keep your older pet healthy and happy:
- Schedule routine check-ups – work closely with us to evaluate your pet’s general health and to monitor the physical effects of aging
- Speak up for your pet – tell us about any changes you have been observing such as weight, appetite, elimination, behaviour, mobility and skin and coat
- Ask us about nutrition and exercise and the role they play in your pet’s health
- Know your pet’s condition – ask us about testing options that can identify health risks before they become evident
- Ask for annual screening for life threatening diseases
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