Senior Pet Care

Senior Pet Care Tips

Over the years, you and your pet will share a lot of love and affection. But, as your pet ages, pets need a little extra attention, especially when it comes to veterinary care. As time goes on, a pet’s needs change, and Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena can help you understand what you can do to prolong your pet’s life and keep your pet comfortable.

Is Your Pet a Senior?

It may seem like only yesterday that your pet was a tiny puppy or a fluffy kitten, but your pet may reach senior status before you know it. Generally, cats are considered seniors at 11 years old. For dogs, senior status depends on the size. Large breeds are considered seniors at 7 years, mid-sized dogs hit the milestone at 10 years, and small dogs become seniors at 11 years. Even though that does not feel like many years with your furry friend, senior pets can maintain a happy, healthy life with the right care through an animal hospital.

Senior Pets Need More Veterinary Visits

The most important part of caring for a senior pet is frequent visits with a veterinarian. While younger animals need annual exams, senior pets should have a veterinary exam at least every 6 months. As pets age, their health can change quickly, and frequent wellness exams are essential to diagnosing medical issues in the early stages.

You can also expect veterinary exams for senior pets to be more extensive. Older animals may need tests they have not needed before in order to investigate changes to their bones, joints, and organs. Our animal hospital may use ultrasounds for senior pets to examine what is happening inside the body. Ultrasounds help diagnose medical conditions and they are painless.

Focus on Quality of Life

As pets age, they often experience medical conditions such as vision loss, hearing loss, and the loss of teeth. Arthritis and other forms of pain are also quite common for senior pets. Though these are all common parts of the aging process, your senior pet can have an active life when you focus on pain management and quality of life. Our veterinarian will help you find the right foods, medications, treatments, and home routines to keep your beloved pet happy, healthy, and active for as long as possible.

Contact Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena

At Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena, we have a special fondness for senior pets. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your senior pet’s health. To help prolong the life of your furry friend, and to increase your pet’s quality of life, call us today at 406-442-0188.