Senior Pet Wellness

Vet Care for Your Senior Pet: Enabling Long Healthy Lives

At the Village Vet, we know the importance of your pet in your life. Cats and dogs give so much joy, and pet owners want to return the gift by providing a long life, free of pain and discomfort. Vet care is a key part of senior pet health.   

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What is a Senior Pet

For both dogs and cats, a rough estimate of when senior age begins is around age seven. Certain breeds of dogs may have higher or lower life expectancies, but in general the smaller the dog, the longer the lifespan. Old age for smaller dog breeds, therefore, is a bit longer, at around age 10. 

Issues That Accompany Advanced Age

Depending on the breed, a seven-year-old cat or dog can be full of vitality, just like a fit 60-year-old. But the risk of developing certain health problems increases. These conditions and problems include:

  • Joint disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidneys/urinary tract disease
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

In addition, even disease-free cats and dogs can experience some pain and weakness just due to their old age. And, like humans, elderly dogs can be afflicted with senility.

Other Factors That Impact Senior Pet Vet Care

There are breed-specific concerns that arise when a cat or dog becomes a senior. Larger breed or obese dogs may experience increased pain and weakness due to the stress of carrying their body weight.  

Senior Pet Care 

Like people, pets age. The good news is, it’s easy to provide for a healthy, longer life for your pet. It all starts with senior pet care that focuses on providing comfort and health for your pet’s golden years. As your pet enters senior age, speak to your veterinarian about developing a preventative care plan to address any issues that may be present or at risk. This collaboration with your vet for increased veterinary care sets the foundation for your pet’s senior health. A care plan can include the following topics:

  • Diet and activity. Weight has a lot to do with health. Obesity increases the risk of many health problems, but in elderly cats, there is a larger risk of malnourishment and being underweight. Your veterinarian can advise on food and appropriate exercise as your pets age. 
  • Parasite control. Disease-carrying parasites can impact your senior pet’s health more easily, due to weakened immune systems. 
  • Slowed healing and weakness. Healing also slows as your pet ages, which can result in complications that further weaken your pet. 
  • Mental health. The risk of senility may increase as pets age, but there are several things you and your veterinarian can do to keep your pet mentally alert.
  • Palliative care and making daily life easier. If your pet is seriously ill, vet care can help provide comfort and support throughout treatment and afterward. Your veterinarian can also offer suggestions on environmental assists, such as ramps and mother mobility options to increase your pet’s quality of life.

Call The Village Vet Today!

As your Baltimore veterinarian, the Village Vet is here to help your pets live a long and happy life.