iStock_000030313002_MediumAs your adult pet reaches the age of 6 or 7, he or she is no longer the spry pup or kitten he or she once was. In fact, for many pets this milestone marks the beginning of his or her “golden years”. At this age, more effort is needed in helping your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle, including an increase in senior pet care.

Senior Pets at the Vet

Once a pet reaches senior status, we recommend a change in your pet’s wellness exam schedule. Instead of the annual exams your pet has had in the past, we encourage pet owners to transition to bi-annual exams, instead.

These twice-yearly exams will help us help your senior pet  live a longer and healthier life by providing valuable information about his or her physical condition. As with all seniors, pet and human alike, minor health issues can quickly turn into serious illnesses; which, if left undetected, may not be easy (or affordable) to treat.

As part of your pet’s senior wellness exam, your cat or dog will receive a nose to tail exam, as well as bloodwork and x-rays to help evaluate his or her overall systemic health. Depending on your pet’s health, we may also recommend further diagnostic tests, such ultrasound; or adjunctive therapies for wellness, such as physical therapy or a change in his or her nutrition.

Senior Pet Care At Home

In addition the age-related changes in your pet’s veterinary care, your senior cat or dog will also need you to make some special considerations at home, too. Stairs may be more difficult to navigate, the sofa or bed may be more difficult to climb up on, the floors may feel a little colder, or his or her regular kibble a little harder to chew.

Be mindful of your pet’s changing needs, and do your best to accommodate these changes. Senior pets still need the love, attention, nutrition, and exercise that they always have, but it may have to come at a slower pace, or a little easier than it used to. Slow down and let your pet set his or her own pace. The time you have left is waning, and you’ll want to enjoy every moment along the way.

If you have any questions or concerns about your senior pet’s health and wellness needs, or the changes you’re seeing in your pet; please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Your pet is looking to you to for care during his or her golden years, and we are here to help you rise to that challenge every step of the way.