Although they may not show it, senior pets tend to need a little extra TLC as they age. Senior pets may experience a vast range of health problems. The best way to detect any issues is to bring your pet in for 6-monthly check-ups. This may sound like a lot, but remember that our pets age significantly faster than we humans do. Six months actually equates to a few dog years! Performing regular checks allows us to assess the health of their vital organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs, as well as checking their eyes, ears, teeth and skin. Early detection is key in the treatment of illnesses, so this gives your pet the best chance of remaining healthy and happy as they age.
Is my pet a senior?
Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Beyond that, the life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your furry friend is in. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered senior at 7-9 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as 5 years.
What can I do for my senior pet?
Many elderly pets suffer from arthritis, which tends to worsen in cold weather. One of the key factors in preventing joint pain is keeping your pet at an ideal weight. We understand that exercise may become more difficult, however there are some great dietary options to help your pet lose weight, or maintain their trim figure, as they begin to slow down.
Not sure if your pet is overweight? Check out our previous blog post for some info and tips on maintaining a healthy weight for your pet!
Diet is an important part of the health of your senior pet. One example is a diet formulated specifically for pets with joint problems. Hill’s J/D has been proven to improve pets’ ability to exercise in just 21 days! It contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids which help to nourish cartilage, and is formulated to help your pet maintain a healthy weight. There are also several supplements which may be added to your pets food that assist with joint mobility.
The Ark also offers Synovan injections, which are given as a course of 4-8 weekly injections. Synovan is a concentrated anti-inflammatory and stimulant of cartilage synthesis, repair and treatment in pets. We’ve seen some incredible improvements in both cats and dogs, and highly recommend it!
If you have any questions regarding your pets health, please do not hesitate to contact Ark Vets on (02) 9416 1300.