Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital

Senior Pet Care

Although your pets may remain forever young at heart, once they reach the double digits, they are soundly in the senior phase of life. Some large-breed dogs are considered seniors as early as the age of seven. Although cats can approach two decades in age, by the time they are nine they are also usually considered seniors.

Caring For Your Senior Pet

As our pets age, their needs change. They might physically slow down, and their metabolism and immune systems tend to decline.

Once a pet is considered geriatric, we recommend more frequent wellness examinations than the once-yearly schedule recommended for younger dogs and cats. Because senior pets are in greater danger of developing a chronic condition such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, or thyroid disease, routine veterinary visits will help veterinarians to catch any concerning symptoms early.

The physical examination for seniors will be similar to that for younger pets, but the veterinarian will most likely run a few more tests, which are likely to include,

  • Thyroid testing, which measures the health of the thyroid gland, a crucial player in metabolic health;
  • Urinalysis, which can catch maladies of the kidneys and liver, and diabetes; and
  • Complete blood count, which gives the veterinarian an overall idea of total body health.

If you are the owner of a senior pet, please note any sudden changes in their behaviour such as decreased appetite, lessened mobility, or increased agitation, and call us immediately.

Tips for Senior Pet Care

  • Stay active. Senior pets might slow down and seem less playful, but their inner puppy or kitten will always have fun doing activities with you. Regular exercise will also help to keep them mentally sharp, and a healthy weight. Make sure to take senior dogs on gentle but regular walks. Senior cats can play with toys such as laser pointers, wands with attachments for chasing, and balls to bat back and forth.
  • Change their food to a clinically-proven senior pet friendly brand. Your veterinarian can help to recommend a diet perfect for your pet.
  • Make your home senior pet friendly. Try to pad surfaces that they regularly jump on or off from. Keep their areas of the house warm, or buy them cozy beds or even a sweater. Senior pets can become cold more easily.
  • Continue to share affection with them regularly. Keep their golden years happy and full by giving them what they crave most: your love. Spend quality time cuddling them and giving them your special attention.

Join the Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital Family Today!

Located off of Exit 19 on I-95 (New England Thruway) between Theodore Fremd Ave and Maple Ave.

Phone: 914-921-2000

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If you are experiencing an emergency after hours, please call us at 914-921-2000 and you will be directed to the veterinarian on call.