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 or toy breeds (less than 20 pounds): 8 to 11 years
Medium-sized breeds (20 to 50 pounds): 8 to 10 years
Large breeds (50 to 90 pounds): 8 to 9 years
Giant breeds (more than 90 pounds): 6 to 7 years
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

Observing your senior pet's behavior and physical condition is crucial in identifying potential problems early. Keep an eye out for subtle changes in their activity levels, appetite, or any signs of discomfort, such as limping or difficulty getting up. Also, be vigilant for noticeable shifts in behavior, like increased anxiety, confusion, or changes in bathroom habits. Regular veterinary check-ups can further aid in detecting and addressing issues as they arise.

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

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

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From the Blog
News & Articles

Senior Pet's Arthritis Guide:
Keep Them Painless & Playful!

Learn how to spot the signs and explore proactive steps that can make a significant difference in enhancing your senior pet's well-being.

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Often the first signs of aging in pets:

Changes in Behavior

Cognitive dysfunction, known as CCD (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) in dogs and FCD (Feline Cognitive Dysfunction) in cats, is an age-related neurodegenerative condition that has been extensively studied in dogs but less so in cats. Research indicates that approximately 14% to 22.5% of dogs older than 8 years experience age-related cognitive impairment. Clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction can vary between dogs and cats and may not be readily noticed by pet owners during the early stages of the condition. Early recognition of this condition is crucial, as treatment is most effective in the initial stages of CCD and FCD. Moreover, cognitive dysfunction can significantly impact the quality of the human-animal bond.

Common behavioral changes in senior pets may include:

Increased reaction to strange or loud sounds
Increased barking/meowing
Increased aggression/anxiety
Confusion and disorientation
Changes in sleep patterns
Less interest in playing
Decreased response to voice commands

If you notice these behavioral changes or other warning signs of disease, reach out to us. We're here to give you guidance and possible treatments.

Collage of the animal and human bond
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.

Jan 31

Chew on This: The Ultimate How-To for Happy Pet Teeth!

Preventing oral diseases in our furry friends is easier than you might think. Here's our Step-by-Step Guide.
More
Dec 28

Healthy Pets: Tackling Weight Loss

January: Pet Weight Loss Awareness Month! Is Your Pup Pudgy? Is Your Kitty Chunky? Dr. Childers shares her expertise on combatting this health-threatening condition for both dogs and cats.
More
Dec 5

Cracking the Code: Understanding the Purr-fect Language of Cats

In honor of December being "National Cat Month", we're going to unravel the captivating history of cats and decode the unique language they use to communicate with us.
More
Nov 2

Senior Pet's Arthritis Guide: Keep Them Painless & Playful!

Learn how to spot the signs and explore proactive steps that can make a significant difference in enhancing your senior pet's well-being.
More
Oct 2

Best Local Trails to Walk Your Dog

Walking your dog is the best form of mental and physical exercise for both of you. Find your momentum and explore new hiking trails with our handy list for locals.
More
Sep 29

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
Sep 29

Finding Your Furever Friend: A Vet's Take on Dog Adoption🐾

In October, we support "Adopt a Dog" month by giving you essential considerations, with your veterinarian's role in mind.
More
Sep 12

Celebrating Responsible Dog Ownership: A Guide to Ensuring Your Canine Companion's Well-Being

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
Sep 12

Crucial Clues: How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain

Do you know how to spot pain in your dog? September is Animal Pain Awareness Month and this blog post delves into the different types of pain, Signs, and Effective Management Strategies.
More
31 Jan

Chew on This: The Ultimate How-To for Happy Pet Teeth!

Preventing oral diseases in our furry friends is easier than you might think. Here's our Step-by-Step Guide.
More
28 Dec

Healthy Pets: Tackling Weight Loss

January: Pet Weight Loss Awareness Month! Is Your Pup Pudgy? Is Your Kitty Chunky? Dr. Childers shares her expertise on combatting this health-threatening condition for both dogs and cats.
More
5 Dec

Cracking the Code: Understanding the Purr-fect Language of Cats

In honor of December being "National Cat Month", we're going to unravel the captivating history of cats and decode the unique language they use to communicate with us.
More
2 Nov

Senior Pet's Arthritis Guide: Keep Them Painless & Playful!

Learn how to spot the signs and explore proactive steps that can make a significant difference in enhancing your senior pet's well-being.
More
2 Oct

Best Local Trails to Walk Your Dog

Walking your dog is the best form of mental and physical exercise for both of you. Find your momentum and explore new hiking trails with our handy list for locals.
More
29 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
29 Sep

Finding Your Furever Friend: A Vet's Take on Dog Adoption🐾

In October, we support "Adopt a Dog" month by giving you essential considerations, with your veterinarian's role in mind.
More
12 Sep

Celebrating Responsible Dog Ownership: A Guide to Ensuring Your Canine Companion's Well-Being

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