Thanks to advancements in modern medicine and improvements in the quality of life we can give them, pets are living longer than ever before. As your pet ages, you’ll start noticing subtle changes in their behaviour, like moving slower or having trouble climbing stairs. This means it’s time to start making changes to the type of care you give them.
When will I notice signs of aging in my pet?
Pets age at different rates, even if they’re the same breed. Pets age at a faster rate than humans, so even within a year, you could notice subtle changes that are signs of aging. You could start seeing changes in your pet between their 6th and 8th birthday. Typically cats are considered seniors around 10-years-old, whereas dogs enter their golden years around 7-years-old. Signs you can look out for include:
- Changes in their eating habits
- Less active
- More grey hairs
- Tiredness or sleeping often
- Vision or hearing loss
What health issues do pets have as they age?
With age comes more health conditions because your pet’s body is slowing down and their immune system is less reactive to infections or diseases. Having more health issues doesn’t mean your pet isn’t able to live a high quality of life. It means you’ll need to take additional steps to ensure they’re taken care of and all their health needs are met. Common health conditions include diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, liver issues and kidney disease. If you have concerns about your senior pet’s health, please contact us at 403-288-7299.
How can I care for them?
You’ll need to bring your pet in for more frequent visits with the veterinarian, typically twice a year or more often if they have health conditions. Your pet could also need a specialized diet to cater to the changes in their stage of life. Over time, it is a good idea to adjust your pet’s daily routine to fit their new lifestyle, including more time for slower walks, rearranging hard-to-reach toys and installing mobility aids around your home.