Veterinary medicine has improved a lot in the last 50 years, allowing us to enjoy our furry friends a lot longer than we used to. This means we'll be facing a wide variety of age-related problems we never pictured dealing with. At Colonial Manor Animal Hospital in Homer Glen, senior pet care is one of the fastest growing parts of our practice. We see more happy families with senior pets every year and are happy to advise owners about the special needs that senior dogs and cats will need in their later years.
Veterinarian in Homer Glen Talks About Older Pets
The definition of a senior pet varies from breed to breed, but our veterinarian in Homer Glen considers most pets senior by the age of 7. Smaller pets will live longer than larger ones, while cats will live slightly longer than dogs, especially the larger breeds. Most pets start to slow down by the time they reach 6, and it's a good idea to look into senior pet care by then.
As pets age, they're more likely to contract diseases, just as people do. At our Homer Glen animal hospital, we see senior pets with a range of physical problems such as:
- Joint or bone disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney or urinary tract problems
- Liver disease
Caring for Your Senior Pet
An unhealthy life isn't inevitable for your dog or cat as it gets older. Most senior pets live long and healthy lifestyles, as long as their owners care for them correctly. It all begins with increased veterinary care. If we examine your pet more frequently, it's more likely that our veterinarians will diagnose any physical problems early enough to treat it successfully. We'll also consult with you about diet and nutrition for your pet. Many older dogs and cats have digestion problems or troubles with obesity, and we can help you with choosing the right food for your senior pet. Older pets have weakened immune systems, too, so it's important that we keep up-to-date with vaccinations and parasite control.
When it comes to your home, there's a lot you can do to make your senior pet's life better. Buy toys to keep your dog or cat mentally stimulated to help keep senility away. Most changes will be physical, though. Your pet will probably slow down and need accommodations for moving around the house as usual. For instance, if your dog can't jump up on the couch anymore, you may have to pick it up to snuggle with it. Treat your pet like you always have, but make allowances for slower reactions and possibly aching joints, just like you would with older humans.
Looking for a Lockport Veterinarian?
If your pet is getting older, it's important that you have it examined twice a year to help keep it healthy. Call our office at 708-301-8200 to make an appointment with our Homer Glen vet today.