Our pets age much more quickly than humans. Most dogs are considered seniors at 10 to 11 years of age (perhaps 6 years for large breeds), and most cats are seniors at 11 to 14 years of age.
As pets get older, they may develop new and sometimes undesirable behaviours such as; changes in eating, eliminating and sleeping habits, a decrease in activity level, disorientation, and behavioural changes including less interest or fear of its surroundings. They can all be signs of emerging health conditions such as pain, a decline in sensory or organ function, endocrine diseases or brain aging.
Senior pets require more frequent health-care visits for early diagnosis and intervention. With a thorough physical examination and a blood and urine screening tests, your veterinarian staff will work to find an early diagnosis and intervention to allow a more comfortable time for your pet.
There is a wide range of treatments and supportive care available. These include a prescription diet, natural supplements, and drug therapy that your veterinarian can suggest at the time of diagnosis. However, there are other things you can do to help your pet by keeping them physically and mentally active with new toys with food compartments, daily simple obedience commands and frequent and short walks. And to keep them comfortable, simple changes such as a higher food and water bowls, a more comfortable and thicker bed in a warm area, a lower and larger litter box, and, of course, be sure to give your pet lots of love and attention during his or her golden years.