Can you guess what the oldest cat on history is?  The oldest cat lived to be 34 years of age, and that is human years, not cat years!  As for Dogs, the oldest recorded dog on history lived to be 29 years of age! Wow!

Growing up, we were lucky if our pets made it to 10-12 years of age. We took good care of them, but pets didn’t live that long when I was younger.  Today, there have been so many medical advances, and it is just crazy what we can do for pets. Cancer treatments, advanced lifesaving surgeries, and advanced diagnostic procedures such as MRI’s are now becoming options for pets.  The medical advancements are crazy if you think about it, considering that some people are lucky enough never to have to deal with any of those kinds of procedures in their life.  Thanks to advances in research and medical care for pets, we see pets living a lot longer than they were even 5-10 years ago.

Some may be wondering, at what age is my pet considered a senior pet? The answer is, it depends. Pets age much quicker than humans, so veterinarians tell us that one human year is equivalent to numerous years for pets. In dogs, larger breeds tend to age faster than smaller breeds. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats and small dogs are “seniors” around seven years of age, depending on the size of the dog. Larger breed dogs tend to age much quicker than small breeds and are considered “seniors” around six years of age.  

What does this mean for your pet? Thanks to advances in medical care nowadays, it doesn’t have to mean a whole lot!  The general advice from veterinarians is to pay attention to your pet as they get older, you know them better than anyone. As your pet ages, their overall health needs can change. Let’s review several items to observe as our pets are aging. Furthermore, we can discuss how to make our pets comfortable during some of the best years of their life.

Pay attention to any physical changes in your pet

Like humans, as your pet ages, their bodies can go through the aging process as well.  Here are a few things to watch for as your pet is aging:

All the changes discussed above could indicate your pet is aging and may have changing health needs. It is essential to know what is “normal” for your pet so you can take notice if something starts to change.

Health Needs in Senior Pets

Here are some things to consider for your older pets when it comes to their health needs:

Things we can do to show our senior pets some love

With the changes in the aging process, pets (like humans) can get achy and tired. Here are some things we can do to keep them comfortable as they are getting older:

Senior pets make some of the best pets

Overall, senior pets are great companions for any age of person! With a puppy or kitten, they are younger and have so many life experiences to encounter. Sometimes their experiences shape their personalities. A happy puppy or kitten can turn into a cranky adult or vise-versa. Typically, with a senior pet, you won’t get much change in behaviors and personality, so what you see in their character generally is what you get.  However, if they do have some undesirable habits, unlike what the old saying says, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and it can be quite comical! 

Usually, senior pets have made it past the anxious, hyper years of adolescents and adults, and therefore they make great companions for people who are less active. Depending on what breed of senior pet you have, you can still get an active dog or cat as some breeds never know what “rest” means!  Like people, every pet has a different personality.  By keeping an eye on your pet’s behaviors and habits, tending to their changing health needs, and showing them a little love, you can still get many great and memorable years with your senior pet!  

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