Wellness care is important for pets of all ages, but especially senior-aged pets. Our veterinarians consider any dog or cat at or over the age of seven years old to be “senior-aged.” Animals age much faster than humans and require more attention and care in order to keep them comfortable, happy, and healthy.
Dog Years VS Human Years
7 dog years = 44 – 56 years
10 dog years = 56 – 78 years
15 dog years = 76 – 115 years
20 dog years = 96 – 120 years
Cat Years VS Human Years
7 cat years = 54 years
10 cat years = 63 years
15 cat years = 78 years
20 cat years = 97 years
Why Senior Pets Need More Frequent Checkups
At this stage in their life, animals become more susceptible to contracting health issues. Therefore, preventative wellness care becomes more important. North Jersey Animal Hospital provides specialized senior pet care servicing dogs and cats in the Wayne, NJ area. We recommend more frequent visits to our hospital as pets age, ideally every 6 months (twice a year).
Common Conditions in Senior Dogs & Cats
Some diseases and illnesses commonly seen in senior-aged dogs and cats include:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
Once your dog or cat is a senior, your veterinarian will likely recommend bringing them to our animal hospital for a routine physical exam every 6 months. This exam includes a more thorough evaluation of your pet’s joints to detect arthritis, as well as routine bloodwork to help detect other common issues such as diabetes, and vaccinations as needed based on your pet’s current lifestyle.
Routine visits to our veterinary clinic in Wayne, NJ allow the veterinarian to detect any changes in your pet’s health, treat any illnesses as early as possible, and ensure your senior pet’s overall wellness.
- MOBILITY AIDS – Older pets may suffer from painful joints and decreased mobility. Some signs of dog/cat arthritis and mobility issues include moving slower, decreased activity levels, difficulty jumping up on furniture, or walking stiffly. You can help your pet get around easier with the use of ramps for furniture or rugs for improved traction.
- EXERCISE – Regular and frequent exercise is just as important for overall senior pet wellness as it is for younger pets. Exercising often is encouraged to keep them mobile, boost their mood, and prevent weight gain.
- COMFORTABLE BEDDING – A frequently overlooked but easy way to provide your senior pet some additional comfort is by providing soft, supportive, or even orthopedic bedding for resting as it is easier on their joints and more comfortable.
- HEALTHY DIET – Dogs and cats should eat nutritionally dense diets that are tailored to their size, breed, and life stage for optimal digestion and appropriate caloric intake. Ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
- CAREFUL MONITORING – An important piece to senior pet care at home is careful monitoring. Keep an eye out for changes in their behavior or mood, as these may indicate an issue. Pay special attention to their eating, drinking, sleeping, and bathroom patterns.
If you notice any significant changes in your pet’s appetite, diet, routine, exercise levels, or attitude, please schedule an appointment or walk in to visit our veterinary team.