Advice for Geriatric Pets From Your Richmond Veterinarian

richmond veterinarianYour Richmond Veterinarian sees many older pets each day.  With advances in pet care, nutrition and veterinary science, pets are living longer than ever before.  With the longer life span come extra considerations about caring for your geriatric pet.

When Does a Pet Become Old

This varies with each pet and each breed.  Cats and small dogs are usually considered geriatric when they turn 7.  Larger Breed dogs tend to age faster and are usually considered geriatric when they turn 6.  Most people have heard that one human year equals 7 dog years.  Actual aging is not quite that simple.  Here is a table that better describes your pet’s years.


                   Human years    Cat Years

 7 years 45 years
10 years 58 years
15 years 75 years
20 years 98 years


 Human Years        Small Dog Years     Large Dog Years

7 years       44-47 years 50-56 years
10 years 50-56 years 66-78 years
15 years 76-83 years 93-115 years
20 years 96-105 years 120 years




What Health Problems Are Common In Older Pets

You can expect to see some of the same illnesses in your pet that you would find in senior adults.  Your Richmond veterinarian will often treat cancer, heart disease, kidney, liver and urinary problems, diabetes, joint and arthritis, as well as, senility and overall weakness.

Suggestions From Your Richmond Veterinarian

Be Your Pet’s Advocate 

When it comes to caring for your older pet, you want to make sure you keep a good eye on their habits and behaviors.  Any changes could indicate a potential problem.  You are your pet’s advocate when it comes to health care.  You may notice diet changes, urination changes, coughing, changes in hair coat or other more common signs of disease.  If you suspect a problem or you're not sure, bring your pet into your veterinarian in Richmond for an exam.  With geriatric pets, wellness exams should be given 2 times a year instead of annually.  Early detection and treatment can help keep your pet healthy and happy for a long time. 

Diet Considerations

You will want to make sure you are feeding your pet a diet for seniors.  This will take calorie needs into consideration and be better for their digestive system.  Many also include anti-aging nutrients that your pet can benefit from.   Your Richmond veterinarian can help you choose a diet best suited for your particular pet and its needs.

Exercise Considerations

As with people, the more you can exercise your pet the better.  Older dogs tend to gain weight as they become less active and this can lead to other health concerns.  Cats on the other hand may lose weight as they age.  Talk to your veterinarian in Richmond about what exercise is appropriate for your pet and be sure and notify your veterinarian if you notice an unexplained change in weight.

At Advanced Animal Care we look forward to helping you take the best care of your pet.  If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call.