Senior Pet Care
Our pets need quality veterinary care throughout their lives, but we often tend to concentrate our efforts most toward keeping our animals well in the beginning and end of their life-span. But, puppy and kitten care and senior pet care are very different. Pet owners need to understand when their pet is showing signs of aging and may need to take specific actions to ensure that they have the type of care best suited to their needs. At Clinton Hill Animal Clinic in Brooklyn, we understand just how important senior pets are to your family and work with you to give your pets the best quality of life at every stage.
Expected Pet Life Expectancy
If you have a rambunctious puppy or kitten, it may seem as if they will live forever, but unfortunately that isn't true. The expected life-span for a dog can vary greatly depending on the breed, but generally speaking, large dogs live an average of 8 years, and small dogs live an average of 13 years. Indoor cats live 12-18 years, and outside cats have a life expectancy of under 5 years.
Steps to Maximize Your Pet's Life
There are many things a pet owner can do to give their pet the best chance at a long life. Some of these include:
- Regular care from a veterinarian
- A quality diet and exercise
- Spaying or neutering your pet
Conditions Common in Older Pets
Dogs are usually considered to be entering their senior years when they are 7-9 years old, and cats are considered seniors at age 11. Senior pets are at higher risk for age related conditions including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, and diabetes. Getting older doesn't mean that these conditions are inevitable, just that pet owners and veterinarians need to be more aware of potential red flags, including:
- Weight gain or loss
- Appetite loss
- Lumps and bumps
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty with stairs or jumping
- Bad breath
If any of these symptoms are present in your older pet, our veterinarian may ask to perform more tests to assure that your pet gets the treatment they need.
Doing Your Part for Senior Pet Care
When pets reach the senior life stage, vets like to see them twice a year rather than once in order to stay one step ahead of potential problems. It is also during this time that a pet owner's role becomes increasingly important as well. At times, older dogs and cats may require a special diet that addresses medical conditions such as thyroid disease, food sensitivities, or other issues. Our veterinarian can help you develop the right nutrition plan for your pet.
Let Us Provide Veterinary Care for Your Aging Pet
If your pet is in their senior years and needs professional care, we can help. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, contact Clinton Hill Animal Clinic in Brooklyn, NY, at (718) 623-3999.