Make 7 your pet’s lucky number
It’s a common belief that dogs age seven years for each human year. And that’s pretty accurate, depending on his weight. But there’s another reason to consider this number as special: it’s typically when your dog – and cat, too – enters his golden years and needs special attention from his family.
As your furry friend reaches “Senior Petizen“ status at the dawn of his golden years, he may already be demonstrating changes in behavior, ability or appearance. Growing older can have similar changes for pets as it does for humans. You may notice your pet’s eyesight, hearing or ability to recognize family members deteriorate. Your pet may move more slowly or seem stiff and sore at times.
Pet Parent’s and veterinarians can work together to provide for their special needs. Extra care and preventive measures can make a great difference in their quality of life. While some signs of aging are unavoidable, let your vet know if your pet has any of these symptoms.
• Drinking, urinating or scratchingmore often?
• Having difficulty climbing or jumping?
• Have you noticed new lumps or bumps, bad breath or swollen gums?
• Changes in eating, sleeping or social habits?
New technologies and procedures make it possible for pets to live longer and healthier lives. But they depend on you to react quickly and knowledgably. Life-threatening problems of only a few years ago are treatable today, especially if detected early. Therefore, it’s important that your pet be examined by your veterinarian every six months and that you watch carefully for warning signs of common medical conditions in our senior petizens.
Regular check-ups a must
Regular examinations help in assessing your pet’s overall condition. More than ever, older pets need protection against infection and contagious diseases, so annual vaccinations and routine testing for heartworm and intestinal parasites are crucial. Most vet’s also recommend once or twice yearly blood screening for geriatric pets. Blood testing indicates how well major organs are functioning, can give early warning of infection and many diseases, and establishes baseline values for comparison with future test results.