Pets age 6 to 7 years for every human year. Today, many veterinarians recommend that senior pets have a veterinary exam every six months. In human terms, it’s still equivalent to having a checkup every three years – and a lot can change in three years. The check-up should include a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry profile, and urinalysis. Your pet’s veterinarian may recommend other tests to insure a total progressive workup.
Watch your senior pet for any changes in appearance or behavior that may signal illness. Bring these changes to your veterinarian’s attention. Early detection of many disorders can facilitate their cure or delay their progression.
One of the most important things you can do for your senior pet is to make sure they maintain their proper weight. Many senior pet problems have been linked to obesity and inactivity. Specially formulated senior pet foods that are lower in calories and have high-quality protein can be helpful. However, watch your pet for any negative reactions any time you introduce a diet change.
Do not give your pet vitamin supplements unless approved or prescribed by its doctor. Maintain a schedule of regular exercise but remember that your pet may not be able to move as quickly or agilely as he or she used to.
Be on the look out for progressive limping, problems getting up from a lying position or climbing stairs. These may be signs of arthritis. Be sure to alert the doctor during your pet’s next visit. Our goal is to provide the best quality of life to our senior patients.