Senior pet health: How to care for your aging pet

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We all wish our best furry friends will live forever (or at least as long as we do). However, dogs and cats age more quickly than humans, and by the age of 7, they’re considered middle-aged. When your pet starts to come up on AARP age, their health needs change. But with proper healthcare, diet, and exercise, there’s no reason your kitty or pup can’t reach the golden years – and maybe even reach the triple-digits!

Robust healthcare for senior pets
Geriatric pets – those older than age 7, or age 6 for dogs over 50 pounds – should receive:

1. Twice yearly wellness exams.
At Crossroads Pet Hospital, we check senior pets out from head to toe. Wellness visits include a thorough evaluation of your pet’s medical history, health risk screenings, senior pet health education, and referrals to specialty care (if needed). When we examine old pets, we look for common issues such as infected teeth, cataracts, heart murmurs, or tumors.

Regular physical exams and consultations are the most valuable tool to monitor your pet’s health. They’re an easy way to catch developing problems in your aging pet, and early diagnosis is critical to preventing and managing diseases including, but not limited to, dental disease, obesity, osteoarthritis, renal disease, and diabetes.

2. A health risk screen
As part of your senior pet’s robust healthcare regime, your veterinarian may suggest health risk screenings. There are a lot of critical values that need to be checked, including blood sugar, thyroid hormone, and kidney function.

Fortunately, there are easy tests to give us important answers, including bloodwork and urinalysis. With regular health screenings, you don’t have to wait until your pet gets sick before you realize something is wrong. We can catch any abnormalities right away, and address potential problems before they are detrimental to your pet’s health.

3. A nutritional consult
Does your best friend need a low protein diet? Or something with higher fiber? As pets age, their nutritional needs change, and some problems are solved with this simple solution!

Bring your pet to Crossroads Pet Hospital and let’s figure out the bet diet for your buddy.

4. Exercise
Your pets may not be playful puppies and kittens anymore, but that doesn’t mean their days of moving and grooving are over. Even arthritis shouldn’t stop your pet from exercising and staying in top condition. As with people, regular exercise is key to keeping your pets in good health.

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