Senior pets age 5-6 years for one human year, and their health can change quickly. Since most pets are considered seniors by age 7, it’s important to anticipate changes to their needs, and in turn, changes to their routine care at our hospital. Woodland Animal Hospital is dedicated to providing every pet with the age-appropriate treatment they need to have a happy, healthy life, free of pain and illness. We are also capable of treating and managing chronic health problems, so senior dogs and cats can live comfortably.
Dog Ages Relative to Human Ages
7 DOG YEARS = 44 – 56 YEARS
10 DOG YEARS = 56 – 78 YEARS
15 DOG YEARS = 76 – 115 YEARS
20 DOG YEARS = 96 – 120 YEARS
Cat Ages Relative to Human Ages
7 CAT YEARS = 54 YEARS
10 CAT YEARS = 63 YEARS
15 CAT YEARS = 78 YEARS
20 CAT YEARS = 97 YEARS
Senior Pets Need to See the Vet More Frequently
Woodland Animal Hospital recommends bi-annual (every 6 months) wellness visits for senior pets. When dogs and cats enter the senior stage, their vulnerability to disease and injury increases. They can also develop age-related issues such as hearing loss, vision loss, incontinence, and weight gain.
In addition to examining your pet every 6 months, we need to run comprehensive lab work to make sure there are no underlying health problems, and to continue an appropriate regimen of care.
Seeing your senior pet more frequently enables us to detect subtle changes and signs of illness in their infancy, which allows for quicker and more effective treatment.
Some common conditions we can treat and manage in senior pets include:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Along with screening for and treating chronic illness, it is also important to make sure your pet stays current with their parasite preventatives and vaccinations.
- Aid Their Mobility – It is normal for senior dogs and cats to move around more slowly, but they could be having trouble getting around due to slippery floors, or not being able to reach spots they used to. Non-slip mats and floor runners are a great way to ease mobility and reduce your pet’s chances of getting injured. You can also invest in some small ramps to help your pet climb onto the sofa or bed.
- Routine Exercise — It’s important to keep up with your pet’s exercise into their senior years. The key is to maintain a routine while lowering the intensity so your pet can enjoy the activity without becoming fatigued or injuring themselves. Routine exercise can keep your pet’s joints limber and prevent stiffness and mobility loss.
- Supportive Bedding — Keep your pet’s aching joints comfortable by providing cushioned bedding that can support them. Like people, dogs and cats can develop arthritis. This condition causes joint inflammation, lameness, and chronic pain. With softer, thicker bedding, your pet’s joints will feel better, and they’ll be able to sleep more thoroughly through the night.
- Proper Nutrition – Senior diets contain specific nutrients to meet the needs of older dogs and cats. Meet with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is on the right diet, and to address any diet-related concerns or questions.
- Watch for Behavioral Changes – Changes in a pet’s behavior can be due to a change in the environment, or a change in their health. If you’re familiar with your companion’s daily habits, you’ll notice when those habits change. Make note of your observations and contact Woodland Animal Hospital if you have any concerns. Sometimes, a change in appetite or elimination habits could indicate illness, and we will want to treat that illness as quickly as we can.