How to know when your pet is considered senior?
Did you know that dogs and cats age around seven times faster than humans? Like us, their needs change as they get older. Knowing when your pet is considered senior will help them to get the best out of their retirement years.
Dr Roslyn Lui of Greencross Vets Werribee says ‘The approximate age where a pet is considered senior is when they’re older than seven. We also need to consider their breed, larger breed dogs generally age faster and can have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs.’
Changes to look out for
As our pets age, it’s important to consider their changing needs. Dr Roslyn recommends a twice-yearly vet check to detect any age-related problems early on. She also highlights four areas that pet parents should pay close attention to:
- changes in mobility – can be a symptom of arthritis
- any lumps or bumps on the body
- changes in appetite, thirst, weight gain or weight loss
- dental problems – symptoms can include smelly breath, painful chewing, drooling, or appetite changes
Dr Roslyn recommends asking your Greencross Vet about the dietary requirements of your senior cat or dog. As our pets age, their nutritional needs change. Their diet should be tailored to their breed, species, activity level, and any existing health conditions.
‘As your pet ages, they may choose to be indoors more and might not have as much energy compared to when they were young,’ says Dr Roslyn. ‘We want to make sure they maintain a lean, healthy body weight as they transition into their older years.’
Dr Roslyn recommends talking to your local Greencross Vets about any changes as your pet ages. Remember to book them in for twice yearly health checks. Your pet will have their best years ahead if you keep their changing needs in mind as they grow older (and wiser).