Senior Pet Care
Cheshire Crossing Animal Hospital provides senior pet care for dogs and cats in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding area. Similar to the annual physical exams we provide to younger pets, senior pets require a little more attention. Our doctors recommend that we exam your senior pet a minimum of twice a year.
At What Age is a Pet Considered a Senior?
Because our pets age more rapidly than humans (on average, five to seven years for every human year), their senior years come more quickly. We recommend that senior pets, age seven and older, have a physical exam every six months and complete bloodwork at least yearly (large breeds dogs are considered a senior at age six).
Animals experience significant changes as they get older. Arthritis and mobility issues are common in older animals, especially large breed dogs, as they just don’t seem to do as much as they used to. Owners may think that their pet’s reduction is activity is simply due to age, but the pet’s activity may be changing because of pain-driven issues.
Animals Can’t Tell Us When Something is Wrong
Our pets can’t tell us when they are in pain or not feeling well. Your pet may have stopped climbing the steps, not because it is old, but because it hurts his or her hips and knees.
Cats are notorious for hiding an illness and they usually won’t complain or draw attention to a problem. As a result, cats can suffer from an ailment for a long time before you notice that something is wrong. Your only clue may be a change in their normal behavior so make sure you pay attention to any changes, even the subtle ones.
Tips for Keeping Your Senior Pet Healthy
Nutritious Diet: Proper nutrition is critical to older pets and there are special pet foods for seniors that we can recommend.
Regular Exercise: You may need to slow down a bit, but don’t stop. Regular exercise keeps pets healthy both mentally and physically.
Healthy Weight: Extra pounds put stress on your pet’s body, especially their joints and organs. If needed, we can recommend a weight loss plan.
Regular Exams: We recommend a physical exam every six months for senior pets to catch any diseases or health issues right away.
Dental Care: Older pets require more attention as tarter build-up can lead to gingivitis which can cause bacteria. If bacteria gets in the bloodstream it can negatively impact your pet’s organs.