Most pets are regularly examined by a veterinarian every year at the time of vaccinations, however as our dogs and cats age, they require more frequent veterinary attention.

Remember, a 10 year old dog or cat being examined once a year, is the same as a 70 year old human only going to the doctor every 7 years! Regular checkups at least twice a year are essential for aging pets to detect disease early enough to make a difference.

Our pets age at varying rates, depending on breed and size.

Generally, we consider cats and small dogs to be seniors at 8 years of age, and large breeds of dogs around a year earlier.

There are normal age related changes that seniors experience, such as hearing loss, changes in vision, and decreased activity. However, changes relating to skin, heart, kidney, joint and dental disease can be prevented or managed.

What to do for your Senior pet:

  1. EXERCISE….. Provide moderate activity once a day. This enhances circulation, maintains muscle tone and prevents weight gain. A regular routine also helps to prevent stress.

  2. DIET….. Change to a specially formulated senior diet. A well formulated diet is more important for seniors because they are less able to tolerate excess protein and salts in their diet, which contribute to kidney and heart disease.

  3. OBSERVE….. Regularly check for early signs of disease such as:

    • Appetite change or weight loss

    • Difficulty rising or walking

    • Disorientation

    • Persistent cough

    • Skin sores, lumps or bumps

    • Bad breath or bleeding gums

    • Diarrhoea or vomiting

    • Ear odour, redness or scratching

    • Excessive drinking or urinating and loss of bladder control

  4. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE….. Yearly vaccination and heartworm prevention, regular worming and flea control is essential.

  5. SENIOR CHECKS…..Every 6 months, we advise a thorough examination and diagnostic testing for your senior pet. This is your chance to discuss any changes you have noticed. The vet will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs, palpate the limbs and abdomen, and check the eyes, ears and mouth. Valuable information is gained when we perform a urine test and blood tests to check liver, kidney and thyroid function. These tests are vital for early disease prevention.