At Heart of Brooklyn, our veterinary team is committed to keeping your pets healthy and active well into their golden years. As pets age their health care needs change. For our senior patients we recommend semi-annual exams, advanced diagnostic tests, and nutritional counseling. By proactively evaluating your pet, our veterinarians work to detect age-related conditions before they impact their health.
The age at which a pet is considered a “senior” varies. Smaller dogs may not require senior care until 8 or 9 years of age. In contrast, a larger dog may need senior care starting as early as 5 or 6 years of age. Senior cat care typically begins around 8 to 9 years of age.
As your pet ages they may be less responsive to external stimuli. These may include hearing, smell, and sight. You may also notice that your pet is not as fast as he or she once was. Due to arthritis or joint problems, it can be painful for your pet to jump onto the couch or the bed, walk up a flight of stairs, or even play fetch. What you cannot see, however, are the internal changes happening inside your pet’s body. This is why semi-annual exams are an important part of senior pet health care.
As pets age, their dietary needs also change. For example, the risk for kidney disease increases as a cat ages. Changing your cat’s diet can holistically address these health concerns. Dietary changes can also improve the appearance of your pet’s coat or ease joint problems. Supplements like fish oil are an alternative option for addressing minor arthritis problems in cats and dogs. Depending on your pet’s wellness needs, we may recommend specially formulated senior dog or cat food.
The AVMA Senior Pet Care FAQ can answer more questions regarding senior pet care.