November- National Senior Pet Month
10% off Senior Blood Profiles at Animal Medical Center of Warrenton
You may not realize it, but 35% of pets in the US households are senior pets. Like humans, the pet population is ageing but the good news is they are aging gracefully. You can thank amazing advancements in veterinary care, and healthier pet lifestyles. It is up to you, however, to recognize your older pet as a senior. It may be tough for some of you to admit your puppy is no longer a puppy, but an adult or senior pet.
It is really important to take your pet to the vet at least twice a year for senior wellness exams. Write down a list of changes you may see in your pet and share them with his veterinarian. Some may be quite subtle, (like sleeping more or losing interest in toys) some more obvious, (loss of appetite) but regardless share them with your vet. There may be certain test or diagnostics your vet may want to perform that are specific to seniors.
A good rule of thumb, that pet’s age 7 years for each of our human years. However it is more complicated than that. Smaller pets tend to live longer lives and larger ones tend to live shorter lives. Most older cats are likely to have kidney disease. Most older dogs have arthritis. Do they tell us? No, of course not. They just move slower or lose weight from eating less.
Fortunately, if we catch certain conditions early, we can really improve the quality of life for our pets, and in many cases actually extend the anticipated lifespan for our pets. This is especially true in cases of kidney disease and obesity. Dietary control on both of these conditions, if started soon enough, has been shown to extend lifespan.