Senior Pet Care Tips

Understanding the Care Requirements for Senior Pets

As pets become seniors, their care requirements increase to keep age-related diseases and injuries from occurring. Senior pets need to be supported by their owner and vet professionals to remain in excellent health through the years. With the right care approach, your senior pets can remain healthy and happy. Read on to better understand the needs of senior dogs and cats.

Senior Life Stage

Dogs and cats tend to hit the senior life stage at different points, based on their size and other breed characteristics. Medium dogs and cats, for example, are considered seniors at age seven, while large breed dogs hit this life stage at age five. Vets may categorize pets as seniors earlier by watching for the signs of decline caused by aging. The development of age-related diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis, also tend to signal the start of the senior years for your pets.

Common Signs of Illness

Since most pets are stoic in nature, vets partner with pet owners to identify signs of illness that warrant further investigation. You must watch for subtle changes in your pet’s behavior, mood and routine to detect medical problems before complications arise.

Other common signs of illness include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Increased thirst
  • Abnormal growths
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Confusion

You should report all signs and symptoms to your vet to facilitate early detection of developing diseases or illnesses.

Preventive Pet Care

Senior dogs and cats require continued preventive pet care to remain in good health throughout their golden years. Vet checks every six months helps vets keep a close eye on the health of your pet. At the exam, your vet may proactively treat symptoms to keep your pet comfortable and limit disease progression. Your vet will help keep you informed about the best care practices to use for your pet, especially as his or her medical and dental needs change.

Acquiring Veterinarian Support for Your Senior Pet

To schedule your senior pet’s six-month wellness exam, contact our team at Burke Animal Clinic by calling 703-569-9600. We will help you keep your pet in optimal health through the years using a combination of preventive and proactive care techniques.

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