Pets age approximately 7 years for every 1 human year. At around 7 years of age, your feline or canine pet will begin entering into their "golden years". At this milestone, the decisions you make regarding exercise, nutrition, and health will have a huge impact on your pet's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Together, we can make the rest of your pet's life healthier and happier.
Even though your pet may not appear any different at age 7, it is around that time when nutritional and physical requirements will shift. His or her feeding and exercise routine may change in accordance to these shifting needs.
With regular visits to his or her veterinarian, and tailoring nutrition to meet specific needs, you can help reduce the risks of age related health problems, allowing your pet to live a longer, better quality life.
Nutritional requirements for senior pets shift at the 7 year mark. Since senior pets show decreased levels of activity, his or her daily caloric intake will decrease. Your senior pet also requires different levels of particular nutrients and vitamins responsible for the changes in the cardiovascular, urinary, renal, and digestive systems. Jane Animal Hospital can recommend specific diets for your pet's individual physical needs.
Some signs of disease associated with aging pets are difficult to assess visually. Many diseases require sophisticated laboratory testing for confirmation. There are, however, some physical signs associated with certain conditions that may be indicative of underlying disease.
Some of these signs are:
- Loss of appetite
- An increase or decrease of thirst and/or hunger
- An increase or decrease in urination and/or defecation habits
- Poor hair coat and grooming behavior
- Coughing and/or difficulty breathing
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Noticeable weight gain or loss
- Difficulty standing up or lying down
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
- Any changes in your pet's overall personality and behaviour
- Does not recognize familiar people or places
- Wanders or paces
If you notice any of these changes in your pet, then it would be strongly recommended to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Even if your senior pet does not exhibit any signs of illness, visit your veterinarian and establish a plan suited for your pet to maintain and maximize physical and mental wellness well throughout his or her senior years.