For most of us, our pets are a special part of our family. This means as they get older, we want them to feel as comfortable as possible. A great way to make sure your old friend is faring okay into their later years is to book them in for an annual health check with their vet.
There are two main types of changes that can occur as your furry friend gets older. The first is age-related changes such as hearing loss, changes in vision and just generally getting a little slower. These are all a normal part of getting older and cannot be prevented. The second type is pathological change or diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease and dental disease. If caught early and monitored, these can usually be successfully managed.
Proper healthcare throughout your pet’s life (starting from when they are a pup or kitten) is vital to having a healthy older pet. Proper healthcare includes yearly check-ups and vaccinations from your vet, routine parasite control, as well as a healthy diet and regular exercise. As your pet ages, more regular check-ups may be necessary, as well as some extra things like blood tests. Blood tests are a great way to monitor how your pet’s vital organs are functioning as they move into their senior years.
As our pets get older and slow down, it can be difficult to notice signs of them being unwell (especially in cats!). A few good things to keep an eye out for are weight loss and excessive drinking and/or urinating as these can be signs of developing disease. As our canine companions get older they are also more susceptible to arthritis (you can read more about that here).
It can be a hard time watching your once bouncy pup grow into a slower old dog, or your once playful kitten turn into an ever-sleeping cat, but you can definitely make the transition easier by having them regularly checked by your vet to make sure they are as healthy and comfortable as possible as they make their way through their golden years.