At Heart of Brooklyn, our veterinary team is committed to keeping your pets healthy and active well into their golden years. As your pets age, they need special senior pet health care. For our senior patients we recommend a semi-annual exam, special diagnostic tests, and nutritional counseling. By monitoring your pet’s health, our veterinarians proactively work to manage age-related conditions before your pet’s well-being is seriously compromised.
The age at which our veterinarians considers your pet to be a “senior” varies. Smaller dogs typically live longer than larger dogs, so a small dog 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 6 or 7 years of age. With proper care, cats can live between 15 to 20 years. Senior cat care typically begins around 8 to 9 years of age.
As your pet ages, you may notice that your pet is less responsive to external stimuli. Your pet’s senses may begin to dull, including 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.
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