Someday we may become scientifically astute enough to halt the aging process, but as a society we are not there yet. While many of us long for our youth, the reminder of getting older is much more visible on a day to day basis when we look at the animals in our life.
Pets age much more quickly than people, and often the process seems to unfold before our very eyes. Fortunately, we can help to prolong and better the lives of senior pets better than ever before. Properly caring for your aging pet is no small feat, but the staff at Long Animal Hospital is prepared to help you along the way.
The Pet Aging Process
Time is a powerful tool, and understanding how your pet ages is a helpful bit of knowledge. In general dogs and cats have an expected lifespan between 10 and 20 years.
In general, the larger the dog, the shorter the time it is expected to live. Small dogs and cats generally tend to live into their late teens, while a Great Dane may be lucky to make it to nine.
Most pets are considered to be senior at around seven years of age. Understanding this can help you to take a more proactive approach to your pet’s wellness care.
Caring for Your Aging Pet
No man is an island, and properly caring for your aging pet is definitely a team effort. Please call on us to help when it comes to understanding and providing good care for your senior.
Caring for your aging pet involves special attention to:
Wellness care — The older pet needs to visit us at least twice a year. This provides opportunity for us to monitor vitals more closely, be more attuned to concerns at home, and recommend screening tests that may alert us to problems before they become problems, including cancer.
Mobility — Most senior pets are affected to some degree by things like degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis that impede mobility. We may be able to make suggestions about joint supplements, pain management, or our physical rehabilitation services to help your pet. Be sure to also provide non-slip surfaces in your home and keep your pet’s nails properly trimmed.
Nutritional needs — Caring for aging pets involves special attention to nutrition. Ensuring that your pet is receiving the appropriate nutrients, maintaining a healthy weight, and having any medical needs addressed is essential to a happy senior.
Dental care — Appropriate dental care can help senior pets feel better and live longer. No one gets a free pass just because they got old – dental health is always important.
While younger pets need routine care, too, older pets need even more help and attention. Helping pets to live longer and better quality lives just happens to be our specialty, and our dedicated staff at Long Animal Hospital is happy to assist you in caring for these dignified senior citizens.