There's no doubt that our pets are our babies, no matter how old they get! And like our human babies, they have different needs as they get older. Here's how to tell if your cat or dog is considered elderly or geriatric by the American Veterinary Association, and these are some of the things you need to consider as your pet gets older.
Cancer, Arthritis, And Other Health Problems
Just like older humans, your pets experience more health problems as they age. Things like cancer, arthritis and other joint and bone diseases, diabetes, kidney and urinary tract diseases, senility, and other issues. It's important to monitor their behavior for any changes or breaks in pattern and take your pet to the vet sooner rather than later.
Changes In Behavior
As your pet gets older, you'll probably notice some changes in their behavior. In addition to the natural slowing down with age, older cats and dogs tend to be prone to increased anxiety, irritability, confusion, disorientation, and incontinence. While these can be mitigated with certain medications, supplements, diet changes, and more, it's important to take your elderly furball to the vet as soon as you notice a difference in how they act.
Different Dietary Needs
Once your pet is no longer a puppy or a kitten, their nutritional needs change. For instance, the amount of food they need might decrease because they are less active, or they may need more of certain nutrients to help them deal with the effects of aging. In general, your dog or cat has the same needs as an aging human, so keep that in mind as you and your pet grow.
We hope you and your pet enjoy a long and happy life together!