Doyalson Animal Hospital | Senior Mountain Dog

Is Your Pet Becoming a Senior Citizen?

It’s a sad fact of life that our pet’s age faster than we do. But did you know that cats and dogs are considered senior citizens around 7 years for a large breed and 8 years for a small breed? As they reach their golden years there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Obvious changes might include:

  • forgetting toilet training
  • hearing loss
  • stiff legs
  • weight loss or gain

It’s crucial to arrange more regular check ups with us during these senior years.

We will monitor your pet closely for:

  • sore joints
  • new lumps
  • dental disease
  • vision changes
  • heart changes

We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure your pet’s organs are all healthy. Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can be successfully managed if detected early.

Caring for a senior pet is an important job and your furry friends are relying on you to guide them through their twilight years.

Here are our top tips for senior care:

1. Keep your eyes open for changes in behaviour, weight, appetite, thirst and urination. The presence of a cough, a change in sleeping habits, stiff joints, a new lump and accidents around the house can all be a sign of underlying illness. Instead of putting these changes down to ‘getting old’ arrange a check up with us.

2. Choose a premium diet suitable for a mature pet. These help to maintain ideal body condition and will improve longevity. Ask us for a specific recommendation for your pet.

3. As mentioned above, a regular health check (ideally every 6 months) is absolutely essential for your ageing pet. Your pet can experience significant changes in a single year (equivalent to 6-8 human years). A veterinary examination will allow us to pick up on any issues as soon as possible and start treatment if necessary.

4. Consider where your senior pet sleeps, do they need a thicker mattress/bed. Are they out of any drafts or cold spots. If they sleep outside you could insulate their kennel with newspaper and change their bedding regularly.

5. They may love chasing the ball but you might need to limit their running time. Dogs will often keep going well past the time they should have stopped.

Phone us if you have any questions about your senior pet, as we will always be able to give you the best advice. We offer senior pet information for the Central Coast including Wyee, Doyalson, San Remo, Woongarrah, Warnervale, Lake Munmorah & Summerland Point.