Caring for your aging cat or dog is essential to their health and quality of life. Cats and dogs age at faster rates than humans and needs semiannual exams to watch for conditions that affect seniors. At the University Parkway Animal Hospital in Jackson, senior pet care is one of our veterinarian's specialties.
Aging Pets and Vet Care
You may still see them as young and fit, but cats and dogs ages seven and older are in their senior years and need more thorough care than pets under the age of seven. Larger dog breeds that weigh over 44 pounds start their geriatric years sooner than smaller ones at 6-years-old.
Some conditions that your veterinarian will check your senior dog or cat for include:
- Dental disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Cognitive dysfunction
These are the more common health concerns for your older cat or dog. Twice annual exams will help your veterinarian address most issues before they become serious.
Changes in Your Pet that Require a Veterinary Exam
Not all conditions present symptoms around your furry friend's wellness check-ups. There are some signs that you'll need to schedule a veterinary appointment for sooner, such as:
- An increase in urination
- Excessive thirst
- Eating less
- Sleeping more
- Irritability or an increase in erratic behaviors
Some changes may not be a reason for concern, such as eating less. Seniors are less active and need less food to maintain their health. However, you should still schedule an exam at our animal hospital in Jackson to double check.
Tips to Help Keep Your Senior Pets Happy
There are changes you can make in your home and in their care to ensure they're comfortable that don't require an appointment with our vet. Examples of a pet-friendly house with seniors include:
- Have a few locations for water, so they don't have to walk far
- Orthopedic bedding
- Jackets or sweaters during the winter in cold climates
- Stairs made for your furry companion placed in common areas the regularly jump to such as the bed, couch, or window
- Add non-slip mats to their food, water, and litter box area to prevent slips and falls
These are just a few of the changes you can make to improve your senior's quality of life. For more suggestions, ask our vet during your next visit.
Is Your Senior Dog or Cat Due For Their Vet Visit?
You can contact University Parkway Animal Hospital at 731-661-0711 to schedule an exam with one of our qualified veterinary team members today at 84 W University Pkwy Jackson, TN 38305.