Senior Pet Wellness From Winter Garden Animal Hospital

Dogs and cats are living longer than ever now, due to improved diet and veterinary care. This means that pet owners have to face a new group of pet care questions that never appeared fifty years ago. At Winter Garden Animal Hospital, our veterinarian team cares for a wide variety of senior pets each year. There are certainly challenges to keeping older pets healthy, but with the right care and attention, your senior pet can live a long and happy life.

What Makes a Pet a Senior

In most cases, we consider pets as seniors when they reach seven years of age. In actual practice, it depends on the size and breed of your pet. Larger dogs age much more quickly than smaller ones, and your Newfoundland may be a senior as early as five years old. An energetic Jack Russel terrier may not start showing his age until he reaches eight or nine. Cats, on the other hand, all tend to age at the same rate. By the time your kitty is seven, it’s time to treat her as a senior pet.

Senior Pet Challenges in Vet Care

Vet care for older pets is more involved, because as they age their immune system begins to break down, just like in humans. In fact, older pets are subject to some of the same health problems as older humans, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Kidney or urinary tract disease
  • Joint disease
  • Senility
  • Diabetes
  • General weakness

Benefits of More Frequent Pet Exams

You may be used to bringing your pet in for a wellness exam every couple of years, especially if she’s had good health her entire life. Here at Winter Garden Animal Hospital, we feel as your pet ages, it’s important that she come in for an examination at least every six months. Many of the more serious diseases that affect senior pets can develop without any initial symptoms. They can grow for months without showing any sign, and it’s usually a more serious condition by the time symptoms occur. A wellness checkup every six months is the best way for our veterinarians to diagnose these diseases. Treatment is almost always easier and more effective when done as early as possible, so biannual checkups are the best way to make sure your pet stays healthy and happy.

Caring For Your Senior Pet

Taking care of your senior pet isn’t that much different than caring for an adult dog or cat. Let him exercise to his abilities, watch for weight gain and feed accordingly, and come in for annual checkups. Contact us at (407) 656-4132 and we’ll schedule an appointment with your senior pet today.