Senior Pet Care
Combine better veterinary care and improved diets, and you've got new generations of pets that are living longer than ever. While this means years more love with the families that adore them, this also means millions of pets with unique health care needs. At Wooded Acres Animal Hospital in Middle Island NY, 11953, we know that senior pets have very different needs from their younger counterparts, and our goal is to make sure your older dog or cat lives a healthy and happy long life.
What Makes a Pet ”Senior"?
It depends on the type and breed of animal, but in general, you can consider your pet older when they reach seven years of age. Smaller dogs live longer than larger ones, so your Yorkie might not be a senior until they are nine, while Saint Bernards begin showing signs of old age as early as five or six. Senior cats are usually seven years old or older. These are generalities, though, and each pet is different. By the time your pet is five years old, you should be watching for signs of impending old age.
Veterinarian Talks Senior Pet Behavioral Changes
When you bring your pet in to see our veterinarian, it's important that you discuss any behavior changes they might have that could be clues to growing old age. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Lack of grooming
- Changes in sleep habits
- Irritability or confusion
- Increased vocal noises
- Less desire to interact with people or follow commands
- Increased aggressiveness or protectiveness
Common Health Problems in Senior Pets
Older pets often develop the same types of health problems that older humans do. During their health checkups, we'll check your pet for signs of diabetes, kidney or heart disease, joint problems, cancer, or heart disease. These diseases can affect pets of any age, but they're more common as animals get older and their bodies begin to deteriorate.
Caring For Your Senior Pet
In general, you should continue to treat your older pet the same way you always have, but make allowances for the fact that he's a little slower these days. You may need to feed them less to avoid obesity because they won't be burning off as many calories. Continue to play with your older pet and take your dog for regular walks. As long as they are not in pain, play with them in the same way. Most importantly, just watch for health problems to arise.
Contact Our Middle Island Office
It's important that we monitor the health of any senior pet. If you live near the 11953 area, contact Wooded Acres Animal Hospital in Middle Island, NY, at (631) 760-1554, and we'll schedule a veterinary appointment today.