With more than 18 million senior dogs, and 22 million senior cats, it is important to help build greater awareness of the special care and changing needs that aging animals require. As a veterinarian I encourage owners of pets ages 7 and older to visit their veterinarians more frequently for senior care checkups. More medical attention is required for senior pets, and detecting diseases early on is the key to a longer healthier life.
1. Take your senior pet to the veterinarian for a checkup at least every six months. This is important in monitoring changes in his or her health.
2. During your senior pet's regular checkups, regular blood and urine testing can help identify diseases in their earliest and most treatable stages.
3. Look, listen and feel for bumps, signs of pain, or behavioral changes. Disorientation, changes in sleep or loss of house-training, weight fluctuation, increase in thirst and/or urination, or any change in your pet’s normal behavior could be a sign of a health problem.
4. Speak with your veterinarian regarding nutritional needs for aging pets.
5. Your pet’s gums and teeth can be indications of health problems- dental or otherwise.
6. Maintaining a familiar routine with your animal is an easy way to minimize stress in their life, in addition to providing exercise for weight control and muscles tone.
7. Give your pet the love and attention you have always provided.
Establish a senior care program with your veterinarian to improve their healthcare and life expectancy. Love and affection, combined with regular veterinary checkups can help keep your furry companion content in their later years of life.
About the Author
Dr. Alison Birken, owner of
, specializes in all general medicine and surgery for dogs and cats. Victoria Park Animal Hospital offers the most state of the art equipment and facilities, in addition to bathing and grooming services. Victoria Park Animal Hospital