Quality Senior Pet Care in Dartmouth: Anchor Animal Hospital

senior pet care in dartmouthAt what point does your cat or dog become a “senior” pet? This can vary depending on the species, breed, and size. However, for general purposes, most cats and dogs are considered to be seniors when they reach the age of seven. This can be hard for many pet owners to understand, as seven years does not seem like a lot of time. The old standard used to be that pets aged seven years for every one year, but there is a distinct difference between cats and dogs, as well as in small and large breed dogs.

A cat that is seven years of age is estimated to be around 54 “human” years with regard to age-related conditions and required care. Cats with dry skin and other issues need to have extra senior pet care in Dartmouth to ensure their ongoing health and well-being. A dog that is seven years of age will be approximately 44 “human” years if it is a small breed and as much as 56 “human” years if it is a larger breed. The number continues to rise according to the species, breed, and size, with a 15 year-old cat being somewhere around 78 “human” years and a 15 year-old dog ranging between 76 and 115 years of age, depending on its size.

So What Does It Mean?

Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered by many veterinary professionals to be a senior when they are just six years of age. While there is no simple equation that will help pet owners understand when their pet requires additional attention, the best way to ensure quality care is to undergo annual check-ups until the veterinarian specifies that the pet will need additional exams and testing as time goes on. Because of all the age-related conditions and health concerns that can impact senior pets, it is always best to rely on veterinary advice rather than any information you find online.

Feline and canine dental care is essential for senior pets, as most will have some degree of dental disease by the time they are just three years of age. A painful mouth, loose teeth, diseased gums, and other conditions can make it difficult to maintain proper feeding and nutrition. This can seriously affect the pet’s health and mean more frequent trips to the emergency veterinary hospital for treatment. We recommend a good schedule of oral hygiene for your dog and a complete line of at-home dental care in between visits to support a good health regimen. Discuss dental disease with your vet, which can complicate other issues, including heart disease, kidney issues, and weight loss.

Senior Pet Concerns

Just because your pet is getting older, doesn’t mean that they can’t still be active and do all of the things that they enjoy doing. Depending on your pet’s level of activity, they might require veterinary check-ups twice each year to monitor health issues, medication, and other symptoms that are common in senior pets. Possible bloodwork, dental exams for feline and canine dental care, treatment for dogs and cats with dry skin, and changes in diet and nutrition might be addressed during these visits. Make sure to have all contact info for our veterinary clinic and details on how our emergency veterinary hospital works to ensure comprehensive senior pet care in Dartmouth.

The weight control can sometimes be a concern, as older pets might not be as active as they once were. Parasite control is also an issue, as immune systems are not as healthy as they are in younger animals. Ensure ongoing mobility by taking daily walks and ensuring exercise for your older pet to prevent weight gain and keep their muscles moving regularly. Check with your veterinarian about vaccination schedule changes and exams that consider your pet’s mental health. The more you can keep your pet mentally active, the less likely it will be that you will see behavioral changes. Possible changes in the environment might need to be considered as well, such as avoiding stairs, spending more time indoors, and other lifestyle issues.

Schedule an Appointment at Anchor

Whether you have a new puppy or a 15 year-old cat, you can contact our clinic and emergency veterinary hospital to schedule an appointment for a check-up. We can assist with a wide range of services, including vaccinations, surgeries, treatments for cats with dry skin, and feline or canine dental care. When it comes to senior pet care in Dartmouth, you can count on Anchor Animal Hospital to offer the best options for you and your pet. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to speak with one of our veterinary team members about your needs.