Dogs and cats age approximately seven years to our one. In most cases, they’re considered senior from seven years of age. Because they age so rapidly, their risk of developing disease or illness increases. Senior pets require a different level of care to their younger counterparts.
The signs of ageing can be subtle in our pets, especially our feline friends. You may notice the physical signs such as:
- greying around the face
- less energy and sleeping more
- trouble toileting
- difficulty rising or walking
- reluctance to jump from heights
- appetite changes
There are also internal signs that can go unnoticed without a veterinary examination.
The key to a long and healthy life is early detection. Our senior pets are more susceptible to a number of health conditions including:
- dental disease
- kidney and liver disease
- heart disease
Visiting your vet twice a year will help slow down and even prevent the development of diseases.
We believe proactive care not only improves the quality of your pet’s life, it adds years to it. Ask your local Greencross Vets team about our exclusive Healthy Pets Plus programme, which is a simple and cost-effective way for you to ensure the proper care of your pet while minimising your yearly veterinary costs.
During a senior health check, you can expect a thorough examination of your pet to include their joints, eyes, ears, teeth, skin, coat, heart, lungs, abdomen and also an assessment of their dietary requirements, body weight and condition, amongst others.
A sample of your pet’s urine and blood is taken for diagnostic testing, to help determine any underlying or early signs of health issues that are not visible to the naked eye. Diagnostic testing can identify changes in your pet’s body that may require close monitoring or early treatment.
Making small adjustments to your pet’s home environment can assist them as they start to show signs of ageing. Things to consider when living with a senior pet could include:
- providing easy access to food and water
- being patient and slowing down your walks
- keeping them cool in summer and warm in winter
- comfortable bedding
The companionship and joy that senior pets provide to you and your family is incredibly precious. Enjoy every moment with them and look after them. Contact your local Greencross Vets today to book in a senior pet health check.