Senior Pet Health by Dr Sam Haynes
Like us, as they get older, cats and dogs are more likely to develop health problems. Common age-related conditions in cats and dogs include arthritis, heart disease, dental disease and diabetes.
So as your pet ages it becomes even more important for you to keep an eye on his or her health!
When does a pet become ‘senior’?
Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, and cats live longer than dogs. However, as a general rule your pet is considered senior if he or she is aged seven years or more. You can use our cat age and dog age calculators to work out your pet’s age.
Arrange regular check-ups
To make sure that your senior pet stays happy and healthy for as long as possible it is important to arrange regular check-ups. We recommend every six months, because in this time, your pet will have aged two to three years in human terms. Most age-related conditions can be managed successfully with early diagnosis.
Look out for warning signs
Although your senior pet can’t tell you something is wrong, his or her behaviour might. Early signs that things aren’t right can include:
- Bad breath or difficulty eating
- Increased thirst or urination
- Coughing or breathing difficulties
- Diarrhoea or loss of house-training
- Noticeable weight loss or weight gain
- Changes in skin, hair or coat
- Reluctance to walk, jump or exercise
- Confusion or disorientation
- Changes in behaviour including agitation, aggression or increased vocalisation
- Red or watery eyes.
If your pet exhibits any of these signs, it’s time to visit your veterinarian.
Senior Pet Wellness Plan
Here at Sydney Animal Hospitals we have created a special Senior Pet Wellness Plan to help you keep on top of your senior pet’s health.
For more information about the plan or if you are worried about your senior pet, please call your local Sydney Animal Hospitals clinic: