Senior Pet Care

Giving the Gift of Health to Our Senior Companions

As our special animal friends reach middle age and their senior years, it is natural to have some worries and concerns about the physical changes and health challenges they may be facing. We all want our pets to have long and healthy lives, and the best way to achieve this goal is through preventive health care.

How Can I Tell if my Pet is Getting Old?

Qualifying for “senior” status varies in canine and feline companions. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to live longer than larger breeds, so they may reach their geriatric stage around nine to 10 years of age. Cats tend to live longer still and generally reach their golden years around 10 years of age. Some giant breeds of dogs may classify for senior status as young as five years old. Your veterinarian can help you determine your pet’s life stage base on his or her breed and size.

Just like humans, animals may begin to show signs of physical decline as the age. You may notice that sight, hearing, taste, and smell have started to diminish. There is a greater risk of age-related illnesses and diseases as dogs and cats reach their senior years. Our critter companions are very good at hiding discomfort and pain so it is important to be aware of subtle signs or gradual changes that may indicate an underlying problem. Some things to look for include stiffness, vision changes, decreased appetite, increased thirst, changes in bladder or bowel habits, decreased activity, and weight loss.

Preventative Care for the Senior Stage in Life

Because pets’ life spans are so short relative to that of their human owners, health conditions tend to develop much more rapidly, threatening the health of the animal if unobserved and untreated. While an annual veterinary visit may be adequate for younger pets, Odyssey Veterinary Care believes that all pets 10 years and older gain significant health benefits from wellness exams twice a year.

Early detection of illness and disease is critical to living a long and healthy life, so your veterinarian may recommend diagnostics, such as lab, blood, and imaging tests. These tests are used to generate important diagnostic values that your veterinarian will fully interpret and discuss the results with you.

Odyssey Veterinary Care also offers a senior wellness package to ensure we are doing everything possible to maintain the health of your pet as he or she ages.