We consider pets that are
SEVEN YEARS OLD
or older to be senior-aged pets. At this stage in their lives, dogs and cats are more susceptible to contracting health issues. Early detection can help prevent disease and minimize suffering of an older pet.
At World of Animals, we offer senior wellness packages every November & December to ensure this testing’s affordability so that all our patients aged seven and older have enjoyed the benefits of early detection.
Dog Years VS Human Years
7 dog years = 44 – 56 years
10 dog years = 56 – 78 years
15 dog years = 76 – 115 years
20 dog years = 96 – 120 years
Cat Years VS Human Years
7 cat years = 54 years
10 cat years = 63 years
15 cat years = 78 years
20 cat years = 97 years
Getting Older Means Going to the Vet More Often
While annual check-ups are important for pets of all ages, making more frequent vet visits is especially important for mature pets. We consider pets that are seven years old and older to be senior-aged pets. At this stage in their lives, dogs and cats are more susceptible to contracting health issues, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Kidney disease
- Hypothyroidism (in dogs)
- Hyperthyroidism (in cats)
However, while aging is inevitable, these diseases can often be detected and treated early, allowing your pet to live a long and healthy life.
What complicates the process of early detection is the fact that dogs and cats are both inclined to hide disease by instinct. For animals in nature, this is an advantage. This is because predators tend to prey upon sick animals, so appearing healthy is a good way to avoid becoming a meal. However, we keep our pets safe from predators, so this disguising of diseases only serves to make the diagnosis and treatment of their illnesses more difficult. That is why routine Check-Ups are so critical to your pet’s well-being.
There are also times in which dogs and cats cannot hide their symptoms. Some signs of disease to be watchful for include:
- Increased Thirst or Urination
- Loss of Control Over Bladder
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Gaining or Losing Weight
- Changes in Behavior
- Frequent Vomiting
- Changes in Appetite, Both Increases, and Decreases
- Lumps, or Changes in Skin Color Within an Area
- Bad Smelling Breath
- Excessive Drooling
- Excessive Panting or Intolerance of Exertion
Under normal circumstances, we recommend that cats and dogs come in for examinations once per year, at a minimum. However, due to the increased risk of illnesses in senior pets, we often recommend more frequent check-ups as your pet ages.
One of the most important parts of these examinations, particularly for senior pets, is blood tests. These provide your veterinarian with vital information about their patient’s health from within, where diseases have no way of hiding and are among the main ways for us to detect asymptomatic illness. These tests can be run at any time, and results for them come back quickly.
- MOBILITY AIDS – Senior pets may not be able to get around as easily as they used to. You can provide assistance by placing ramps for access to high areas like beds and furniture and adding rugs for improved traction on slippery flooring.
- EXERCISE – Exercise is just as important for senior pets as it is for younger pets. It keeps them mobile, boosts their mood and impedes weight gain.
- COMFORTABLE BEDDING – If you haven’t already done so, consider providing your senior pet with a soft, supportive bed for naptime and bedtime.
- HEALTHY DIET – Aging pets should eat food that is tailored to their age group for optimal digestion and caloric intake.
- CAREFUL MONITORING – Keep a lookout for changes in your pet’s behavior and mood, as they may indicate a health condition. Pay special attention to eating, drinking, sleeping and bathroom patterns. Make sure to let your vet know about any changes.