Caring for Your Senior Pet

As our pets age, the type of care they require changes. This article covers how to care for your senior pet, especially with regards to what you should be paying special attention to.

When is My Pet Senior?

In general, pets are considered to be senior when they are 7 years or older for dogs, and 12 years or older for cats.


Health Issues


Senior pets are especially prone to obesity as they aren’t able to move as much as they did when they were younger. Keeping your pet on a good diet and making sure that they exercise daily, even if just for a short while, will help them stay healthy.

Heart Issues

When it comes to heart issues, your vet will be able to assess your pet’s individual needs and provide specific, tailored advice.

Eating Changes

Senior pets may eat less or at different times during the day. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that their diet is looked after and tailored to their needs.

They may need food that is easier to digest, higher or lower in calorie intake, and different in nutritional providence.

Mental Health

If your senior pet isn’t getting enough mental stimulation, they may become sad or anxious over time. It’s important to continue spending time with them so they become stimulated, even though they may be less active.

If not stimulated enough, your pet can also become senile – meaning that their functions degrade over time. This can be quite distressing for both you and your pet.


Caring for your pet

There are a number of things that you can do in order to better care for your pet.

Veterinary Visits

Increasing the frequency of veterinary visits will help keep your pet in good condition. Your vet will keep up to date with their health issues, dietary and exercise needs, and overall health. They will also be able to provide advice on how to better care for your senior pet.

Instead of annual visits, considering bi-annual visits instead.

When it comes to senior pets, preventative care and early detection of health issues is vital.

Environmental Considerations

Stairs provide an issue for ageing pets, not only because they are tricky to climb, but also because your pet may trip and fall. Consider changing where they sleep so that they don’t necessarily have to take stairs.

Stay Attentive

The best thing you can do for your pet is to be attentive and watch out for any odd or unusual behaviour, as this can point to a greater, underlying issue.

This behaviour includes:

  • Confusion, which can be a symptom of hearing or sight loss
  • Bumping into things
  • Being needier and wanting to spend more time with you
  • Weight gain
  • Sleeping more
  • Problems with movement, which can be a symptom of arthritis


Got a Pet Emergency?

 If your pet, in any stage of their life, experiences a life-threatening emergency, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital immediately. Out vets will ensure that your pet will receive the best treatments to have them healthy and happy again.

Call 08 6555 5149 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.