What is Pet Aging?
All pets age differently, but some breeds start slowing down more quickly than others. So, you ask yourself what age is considered old for an animal? Cats usually live longer than dogs, with most living to the ripe old age of 16 years. A dog’s age is typically calculated in human years, for example 1 dog year is equivalent to 7 human years.
Unfortunately, this does not really count because larger dogs tend to show signs of aging earlier than smaller dogs. Small dogs are considered old if they are between the age of 9 to 12 years, and medium dogs, if they are between 9 to 11.5 years. Larger dogs aged between 7.5 to 10.5 years, and those over 90 pounds, aged between 6 to 9 years will be considered to be in their senior years.
As dogs and cats become older they are often plagued with various illnesses ranging from muscle aches, joint pains, arthritis, obesity, heart and kidney disease, diabetes, cancer as well as skin, circulation, dental and eye problems. These age-related diseases are often treatable if detected early.
Being vigilant about your pet’s health during his senior years is essential, and therefore a regular visit to your vet is a must! Monitoring any physical or behavioral changes is equally important, because at the end of the day, no one really knows your pet the way you do.
Diagnosing Pet Aging
Warning symptoms and signs to watch for include decreased energy levels, loss of appetite, weight loss, weight gain, stiffness or lameness in joints, difficulty in getting up to walk or frequent urination. Behavioral changes such as confusion, urinating in the house, bumping into things as well as reduced interaction with you and other family members may also be an indication that your pet is aging.
Help for Pet Aging
Animals older than 7 years should visit the vet annually, while for those older than 10 years, a thorough physical examination and geriatric testing — which includes blood tests, ultrasound and EKG —should be performed bi-annually. If you want to increase your pet’s lifespan, feed him a nutritious, well balanced diet, exercise him regularly, and provide as much love and attention as you possibly can.
Natural and holistic remedies can offer effective symptomatic relief for various illnesses and strengthen the immune system in humans as well as their furry friends. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle to use for older pet without harmful side effects. Carefully selected herbal ingredients such as Hydrocotyle asiatica, Rosmarinus officinalis and Arthrospira platenis promote the healthy functioning of the immune, and nervous systems.
More Information on Pet Aging
Tips to Manage Aging Pets
There are a number ways that you can ensure that your pet’s golden years are comfortable:
- Feed your pet a healthy, well balanced or all natural diet free of additives, preservatives and colorants
- Continue to exercise your pet by taking him for regular walks or a swim in warmer weather
- Ensure that pet maintains a healthy weight – excess weight places undue stress and weakens the joints
- Make your dog or cat’s sleeping environment as comfortable as possible by providing extra bedding, blankets or pillows. An orthopedic bed may also be helpful for dogs suffering from joint problems
- Elevate food and water bowls to make it easier for your pet to eat or drink
- Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to avoid the spread of infection throughout the body
- Visit your vet regularly bi- annually for thorough check ups