Did you know that cats and dogs are usually considered “senior” at 7 years of age? Larger breeds of dogs are even considered senior at 5 years old. That being said, it is important to remember that not only is your pet’s coat color getting greyer, but also your pet’s organ systems are changing as they age. Below are some things that you need to be on the look out for:
- An older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, liver and kidney disease, cancer or arthritis. Cancer accounts for about half of the deaths of pets over the age of 10.
- It is normal for pets to lose some of their sight and hearing as they age, just like humans. If your pet’s eyesight is failing, avoid rearranging or adding furniture or other items that could become obstacles.
- If your pet is starting to avoid jumping, active playing or even daily activities such as jumping into your car, it may have arthritis.
- Behavioral changes in your pet can serve as the first indicators of againg or of a problem. Changes might be due to pain, or worsening signt or hearing or even due to its normal aging process.
- Weight can have an enormous effect on an older pet’s health. Excess weight in older pet increases the risk of arthritis, difficulty breathing, diabetes, high blood pressure, skin problems, cancer and other conditions.
Because older pets are more likely to develop certain conditions, it is very important that they are regularly examined by a veterinarian to maintain them healthy. For more senior pet’s information go to the American Veterinarian Medical Association Senior Pets webpage.