As a result of advancements in medical care, pets are now living longer lives than every before! But as pets get older they often require a higher level of care and attention. At Paws to Consider, we often get inquiries from new clients about providing check ins and short 15 minute walks for senior pets. Paws is happy to work with puppies, senior pets, and all animals in between!
When does a pet become “old”?
This varies greatly among the different size and breed of dogs, larger breeds tend to have shorter life spans compared to smaller breeds. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not actually age at a rate of 7 human years for a each dog year. Depending on the breed, dogs become senior between 5 and 7 years old.
Older pets often start to develop diseases such as heart, kidney or liver disease, often times we see arthritis in older dogs as well. There are outward signs of aging such as graying hair coats and slower movement. Pets also tend to lose some of their sight and hearing as they age, similar to humans. Pets may start to seem less interested in physical activity, and may start to find maneuvering and down stairs or into cars more difficult. Pets also experience a change in behavior, these changes may be a result of pain/discomfort, a result of worsening sight/hearing, or a sign of cognitive dysfunction.
Always be on the lookout of the above signs of an aging dog. Older dogs also tend to put on weight as well, and obesity increases the risk of arthritis, leads to difficult breathing and may lead to other heart complications. Be sure to continue making regular visits to the vet as your dog ages, and keep a proper diet and exercise as recommended by your vet!