When is My Cat or Dog Considered a Senior?
This question has a variety of answers based on your pet’s breed. For small breed dogs, they are usually considered a senior at 7 years of age. Large breed dogs, however, often have a shorter lifespan, and may be considered a senior at 5-6 years old. Cats are usually considered senior at 7 years of age.
Why We Recommend Semiannual Vet Visits for Senior Pets
Senior pets are at a vulnerable stage of their life. They are often more prone to injury and disease, and may also suffer from age-related conditions like arthritis, which can affect their quality of life. Many diseases and conditions can go unnoticed until the disease is much further advanced—and much harder to treat. With more routine vet visits, we can stay on top of your pet’s changing health and address any problems in the early stages when they are far easier to treat.
Recognizing Problems in Your Senior Pet
Paying close attention to your pet’s behavior during their senior years can alert you to problems before there are any serious symptoms. If you notice any of the following, it’s worth making an appointment so we can assess their condition:
- Changes in behavior such as aggression, increased lethargy, clinginess, or avoiding contact with you
- Changes in eating or drinking habits (eating/drinking less or more than usual)
- Difficulty or reluctance sitting up or lying down
- Reluctance or disuse of the stairs
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Difficulty or inability to urinate
- Failing to use the litter box (cats)
- Weight gain or loss