Like people, many factors contribute to aging. How your pet ages depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which are genetics, diet, exercise, environment, routine care and the human-pet bond. And like people, pets also need more frequent attention as they get older in order to prevent and treat illnesses associated with old age. By making a few adjustments as your pet ages, you can help your pet to live a longer, healthier life. Any questions you have can be answered at our veterinary clinic.
As your pet ages, the routine labwork we recommend changes. Generally, after a pet reaches 8 or 9 years old, we will want to do an annual urinalysis, fecal exam, and blood panel (specifically looking an immune function, liver function, and kidney function, among others). Your pet cannot tell you if they’re “not feeling right.” Many chronic but manageable conditions can be identified through our routine yearly labwork. In addition, if we have a history of your pet’s blood chemistry it provides us with a valuable baseline when a condition requiring comprehensive diagnostics needs to be treated.
In addition, your pet’s dietary needs change as they age. Your pet generally needs fewer calories as he or she ages, but there are many other factors that may impact our dietary recommendations for your pet. There are special diets available for many chronic but manageable conditions, including kidney disease, liver disease, obesity, chronic or acute gastrointestinal distress, and others.
The groundwork for healthy aging is laid down when your pet is younger. After each exam, and after each boarding visit, your pet will receive a “report card.” The doctor will provide information regarding every aspect of your pet’s health, from physical to behavioral and cognitive. We will note on your pet’s report card when he or she needs dental work done, or when your pet is beginning to get overweight, or any number of other issues that may become chronic issues as your pet ages. We can work together, our clients and the doctors as a team, to address these issues and help ensure that your pet will have many more happy and healthy years ahead of them. That’s why we say “Embracing wellness and celebrating the bond,” because preventative care means more quality years with your pet.
We always recommend the best protocols to help your pet friend enjoy their golden years. Come in and see us; we’ll be happy to tell you what you can do to help your pet live a long, healthy and happy life.