If you’ve had the privilege of having a pet for more than seven years, or perhaps you recently adopted a senior pet, congratulations! Senior pets are some of our favorite patients, and we want to help them enjoy their golden years. In addition to our basic wellness exams and services, we offer several additional senior pet care services at all of our clinics. These services are intended to accommodate the changes and health risks that come with age, and include senior blood profiles, dietary counseling, and a discussion about your pet’s changing needs as they age.
How Old Is My Pet in Human Years?
Most people multiply their pets’ age by 7 to determine their age in human years, but the following chart by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides more accurate comparisons/estimations:
*A range is listed because different breeds age at different rates.
While just knowing your pet’s age is the obvious way to know that they’re aging in general, there may be variables that cause your pet to age faster or slower than average, such as diet and environment. For example, a 7-year-old outdoor cat may experience health problems sooner than a 7-year-old indoor cat, and a Great Dane will age more quickly than a Yorkshire Terrier. The following is a list of some of the common signs of aging in pets to be mindful of:
- House soiling
- Increased anxiety
- Change in sleep habits
- Poor hair coat quality
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased activity or interacting less
- Increased thirst and/or urination
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your senior pet you may want to schedule a senior wellness exam.
How to Care for Your Senior Pet
You can’t make your pet live as long as the average human, but you CAN help them live beyond their average life expectancy. The following is a list of areas to consider to keep your senior pet healthy:
- Diet and nutrition
- Weight management
- Parasite control
- Bi-annual wellness exams
- Comprehensive bloodwork and a urinalysis
We look forward to partnering with you to help your companion enjoy their golden years!