What is a senior pet?
A senior pet is one that is over seven (human) years. On average animals age seven years for every one human year. This means that by the time that your doggie companion is about 8 years old their organs, joints & metabolism are comparative to a 60 year old human. Just imagine, by the time your moggie is 10 years old, they would be past retirement age!
Senior pets differ in their pet care requirements to adult animals, just as puppies have different pet care requirements. The differing pet care requirements include:
Different dietary requirements:
Dogs & cats' muscle mass can decreases as they get older & organ function can decrease so a higher carbohydrate, lower protein food may be of assistance.
Different & more frequent check ups:
As animals age, their health status can change more quickly than younger animals. The issues your Greencross veterinarian would be checking for are arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, organ failure, hearing or vision loss & tumours.
Modified exercise regime:
Different exercise routines due to joint or arthritis issues & reduced muscle mass caused by ageing. Regular moderate exercise helps to maintain muscle mass & keep joints mobile. It may also help their cardiovascular health.
Closer monitoring of skin & possible lumps:
Unfortunately cancer is something that affects our pets as well. Close monitoring of any suspicious lump or growth is imperative to rapid removal of cancers & possibly limiting the spread of cancer.
Improved dental care:
As pets age, their dental health does deteriorate & as such need improved monitoring & possibly special diets, brushing or dental chews.
These concerns are of course in addition to the regular vaccination protocols, heartworm prevention & gastrointestinal worming that all pets should receive throughout their lives.
Senior pets may need a little bit of extra care, but we think that they're worth it given that they have loved you unconditionally for so many years.....