Is my pet considered a senior?

The Golden Years:
General Rule of Thumb

Our pets are now living longer, healthier lives than ever before due to advancements in veterinary medicine and nutrition. The lifespan of your pet varies by breed, size, and environmental factors. Your veterinarian is the best source for determining the stage of life of your four-legged friend.

Small Breed Dog: 7 years or older
Large Breed Dog: 6 years or older
Cats: 11 years or older
Senior Pet Care - Old gray cat38  YRS Oldest Cat Ever Recorded
Dogs and Cats

Age Much Quicker Than People

Contrary to popular belief, the rule of "7 dog years = 1 human year" is far from accurate.

Dog Years equivalent in human years
The AVMA provides these calculations to help put a pet's age in human terms
Cat Years equivalent in human years
As your pet ages, they become more

susceptible to a variety of diseases including:

Old chihuaha29 YRS Oldest Dog Ever Recorded
What To Expect at Your

Senior’s Pet Appointment

At your senior pet's visit, our veterinarian is going to examine your dog or cat over, from nose to tail. They will typically begin by examining their overall body condition, followed by a thorough oral exam. During the oral exam, the veterinarian will be looking for any signs of dental disease including swollen gums (or gingivitis), dental tartar, plaque or tooth decay. Your pet’s exam will also include listening to their heart and lungs, checking for any unusual signs/symptoms, and checking for skin, coat, eye and ear problems. Diet and nutritional counseling will also be a part of your senior pet's exam.

If our veterinarian comes across something unusual or they suspect an underlying condition, further diagnostic testing or lab work will most likely will be recommended. Routine annual diagnostic lab work is recommended on any senior patient in order to help our veterinarians identify what values are currently normal or if there have been any changes since the prior year. Our veterinarians are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your aging pet during their exam.

Signs Your Senior Pet

May Have a Problem

Increased thirst or urination
Loss of bladder control
Diarrhea or constipation
Bad breath, excessive drooling, or panting
Changes in appetite
Weight loss or weight gain
Lumps or changes in areas of skin color
Disorientation and increased wandering
Limping, lameness, or trouble getting up​
Abdominal swelling
Difficulty breathing
Anxiety
Changes in sleep cycles
Senior dog in field

If you suspect that your senior pet is having a problem, don't hesitate to contact us.

Contact Us
From the Blog

News & Articles

As many of our clients know, we love sharing our knowledge and important animal health news. Our blog contains valuable educational resources in one easy location.

1 Sep

How To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Summer is quickly approaching, which means many people are gearing up for all of their outdoor adventures! If you're lucky enough...
More
1 Sep

So You Just Got A New Kitten? What You Need To Know

It's hard to beat the preciousness of a kitten. These small bundles of fur have the cutest meows, and they are so curious and playful...
More
1 Sep

So You Just Got A New Puppy? What You Need To Know

Getting a new puppy is super exciting. After all, you are picking out a new member of your family who will enrich your life for years to come...
More
1 Sep

Halloween: Precautions To Celebrate Safely With Your Pet

Halloween has become a holiday to celebrate not only with your children and friends but with your pets, as well. Many owners look forward to...
More
5 Sep

Summer Care Checklist For Your Pet

Summer is here and we've created a handy checklist you can use to ensure your furry best friend’s seasonal health and wellness needs are met.
More
1 Sep

National Train Your Dog Month: You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

January is National Train Your Dog Month, and to celebrate, our doctors and techs have shared some advice that helped them train their own pets.
More
1 Sep

Ask a Vet Tech: Tips for new pet owners.

Getting a new pet is so exciting. The Vet Techs at Countryside have put together some tips to help you welcome your new pet into your home with success and happiness.
More
1 Sep

Adopt A Senior Pet Month: Inspiring Stories

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Staff members, Ashley and Jenn share their senior pet ownership stories and why an older pet could be right for you.
More
1 Sep

September: A Review in Responsible Dog Ownership

September is Responsible Dog Ownership month, and Dr. Jennifer Coval, a small animal vet with Countryside, has key advice that can make a difference in your dog’s wellbeing.
More
2 May

How To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Summer is quickly approaching, which means many people are gearing up for all of their outdoor adventures! If you're lucky enough...
More
17 Dec

So You Just Got A New Kitten? What You Need To Know

It's hard to beat the preciousness of a kitten. These small bundles of fur have the cutest meows, and they are so curious and playful...
More
17 Dec

So You Just Got A New Puppy? What You Need To Know

Getting a new puppy is super exciting. After all, you are picking out a new member of your family who will enrich your life for years to come...
More
23 Oct

Halloween: Precautions To Celebrate Safely With Your Pet

Halloween has become a holiday to celebrate not only with your children and friends but with your pets, as well. Many owners look forward to...
More
17 Jun

Summer Care Checklist For Your Pet

Summer is here and we've created a handy checklist you can use to ensure your furry best friend’s seasonal health and wellness needs are met.
More
14 Jan

National Train Your Dog Month: You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

January is National Train Your Dog Month, and to celebrate, our doctors and techs have shared some advice that helped them train their own pets.
More
22 Dec

Ask a Vet Tech: Tips for new pet owners.

Getting a new pet is so exciting. The Vet Techs at Countryside have put together some tips to help you welcome your new pet into your home with success and happiness.
More
19 Nov

Adopt A Senior Pet Month: Inspiring Stories

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Staff members, Ashley and Jenn share their senior pet ownership stories and why an older pet could be right for you.
More