Blog

9 Ways to Show Your Senior Pet Some Love

By November 21, 2019 No Comments

Senior pets might have unique needs, but we can make their lives happy and healthy. Age is just a number, right? Not every senior pet will have major health issues, not every young pet won’t. There are lots and lots of great reasons to have and love a senior pet. If you are one of the lucky ones to have a senior pet companion, then we are happy you are here to learn our top 9 ways you can help your senior pet be healthy and happy.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before.” Generally, pets are considered to be ‘seniors’ after age 7.

Here are interesting age equivalent charts from the AVMA comparing cats and dogs to human ages. How old is your pet in human years? How old are you?

Cat Age Chart

Cat YearsHuman Years
754
1063
1578
2097

Dog Age Chart

Dog YearsHuman Years
7Sm-Med: 44-47 | Lrg: 50-56
10Sm-Med: 56-60 | Lrg: 66-78
15Sm-Med: 76-83 | Lrg: 93-115
20Sm-Med: 96-105 | Lrg: 120

*Small: 0-20 lbs; Medium: 21-50 lbs; Large: 51-90 lbs; Very large: >90 lbs
The oldest recorded age of a cat is 34 years. The oldest recorded age of a dog is 29 years.

Let us help keep your senior pet going strong

Team up with us to discuss how to care for your older pet so we are all better prepared for possible age-related health issues. Senior pets may require increased attention, including more frequent visits to the veterinarian, possible changes in diet, and in some cases alterations to their home environment. We are here to help not only with our great level of care but also our easy to do tips you can do at home.

Here are some considerations when caring for older pets:

1

Keep vaccinations and preventatives current. We can determine a proper vaccine schedule for your senior pet's lifestyle and environment. Regular flea, tick, and heartworm prevention will help prevent your pet from getting some nasty parasites, some are life threatening.
2

Also, have blood and urine tests evaluated at least once a year. Pets age much faster as we learned earlier on. Things can change rapidly sometimes. We have a great special going right now for senior pets…read on!
3

Keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor its consumption. Increases in water consumption or urination can be associated with conditions that could be problematic if left unchecked. You should always mention how much water your pet has been drinking, especially if its outside the norm.
4

Eating a good diet is very important for a senior pet. Some pet store diets are not a good fit for your pet so please mention your pets’ diet when you visit. We can make some recommendations for diets that match up with your pet’s specific needs.
5

Brush your pet, regularly. Generally, most pets won’t mind this at all. In fact, you may (not) be surprised to find its their favorite thing ever. Brushing helps you keep an eye on the skin and coat. Mats or knots in the coat can contribute to skin infections and may hide other skin issues. Deshedding the undercoat can help with shedding and the ongoing vacuuming situation at home.
6

Make a habit of good, routine oral hygiene. Keeping up with teeth brushing can keep stinky breath down and reduce the chances of dental disease. Never use human toothpaste, it’s dangerous for pets. There are pet safe toothpastes available on the market or just use plain water and a finger brush to simply brush away food particles. We always examine your pet’s teeth during exams. If there is a problem brewing, we will discuss it with you. You may notice changes at home and not really connect it to teeth. If you notice your pet dropping food, or being hesitant to eat, they may be having some mouth pain. Be sure to mention that at your pet’s visit.
7

Exercise regularly. This is great for everyone. Taking walks with your senior dog or playing with your senior cat is great exercise!
8

Trim the toenails to prevent overgrowth. Long toenails may cause your pet to stand and walk abnormally resulting in pain. There aren’t many pets that actually like toenail trims. It is a necessary grooming task and is so much better for them in the long run. Here’s a PRO-TIP: Trimming nails after bathing your pet may soften the nails so that there is less discomfort. Also offer healthy treats after toenail trims so that your pet associates it with something good. If you can’t trim your dog’s nails, we can help you with that too!
9

Make sure your home is senior pet friendly. For example, make a cushy bed on the floor for your senior with achy joints. If vision is an issue keep paths clear so their food and bed are easily reached.

We are always reminded of this sweet quote about senior dogs, but it applies to cats too. The author is unknown to us, but they “get it”.

To honor our senior patients, we are offering a healthy senior pet panel for cats and dogs over the age of 7. We are offering this panel to healthy pets only. Sick pets may require additional specialized testing based on their condition, so this panel is most likely not a good diagnostic fit for them.

Give us a call if you are interested in scheduling your senior for an exam and a preventative health panel, 626-358-1146.

We’d love it if you’d share pictures of your senior pets with us on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.

Please also subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest from Monrovia Animal Medical Center.