Senior Cat and Dog Wellness: 7 Things You Should Know
September is Senior Pet Wellness Month, which makes it the perfect time to brush up on the most important health and behavior tips for aging cats and dogs. Whether you’re caring for an old pet now or want to be prepared when yours reaches senior status, check out this roundup of facts from our team of animal experts.
When Does a Pet Become Senior?
In a recent poll, our readers said they thought giant breeds became senior around 7 years old — but the majority of our veterinary professionals said 5 years old. We saw the same trend when it came to cats: The highest percentage of readers considered cats senior at 11, while the largest group of veterinary professionals said 9.
Read more: Aging Pets: Senior, Geriatric and What It All Means to Experts and Readers
Helpful Products for Older Pets
Read more: "Catification" for Senior Pets and 10 Life-Improving Products for Senior Dogs
Visiting the Veterinarian
Read more: Work With Your Veterinarian to Make Your Senior Pet's Golden Years Healthy
Signs of Cognitive Dysfunction
Talk with your veterinarian if you start to notice these or other changes in your pet's routine. She may recommend a variety of tests to rule out other medical problems before diagnosing your pet with CDS, or she may enlist the help of a veterinary neurologist.
Read more: Is Your Kitty Confused? 4 Signs of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and 4 Signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Treating Aches and Pains
It's normal for older pets to slow down as they reach senior status, but a sudden drop in physical activity could signal a painful condition. If you're not sure what the best form of physical activity is for your senior pet, just ask your veterinarian. A meandering walk around the neighborhood for your dog or a gentle game of batting at a feather for your cat could be just what the doctor ordered.
Read more: Treating Your Senior Pet's Aches and Pains
Adopting a Golden Oldie
Read more: What You Need to Know About Adopting a Senior Pet
Solving Behavior Problems
Read more: Common Behavior Problems in Senior Dogs