We've all heard the saying for every human year, a dog has an equivalent seven years right...? Well, not entirely. Let's sort a few myths from facts with pet's ages because this month is Pet Seniors Month and there are many things we need to remember as our pets get older, mainly how to take care of them - adjust their diets, exercise and care accordingly.
With Dogs, there's a general rule, yes, that each dog year equates to approximately seven or so human years, however if you have a large breed dog, that number is slightly different which in turn means they age differently. We say around 7-8 years of age in smaller dogs can be senior and then between 4-6 for larger breeds. As a general rule, both cats and dogs become senior at or around the age of seven and this is when you need to look at their diet and what you're feeding your pet. You also need to ensure his or her dental health is in check and a checkover for any arthritic joints.
When your pet becomes senior, it is important they're getting antioxidants from a good quality food as well as regular vet checks. Where a younger dog might only need once yearly check and vaccination, a senior pet should have a health-check at least twice a year to ensure we are picking up any changes and of course if you see any change in behaviour, limping, loss of appetite, drinking more, urinating more, change in fecal matter these are all indicators you should come in and see us. Various diseases that can affect a senior pet can be:
- heart disease
- kidney/urinary tract disease
- liver disease
- joint or bone disease
As with any ailments, all of these things can contribute to the vast difference in your pet's health as it ages. If you've got any concerns, or would like to know your pet's actual age and how close they might be to seniorhood, bring them down for a visit. To help them along we're taking care of our senior fur friends with 20% off visits and surgeries booked in this month.