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The aging process for our pets varies based on many factors. It is commonly thought that 1 year of a dog’s life is equal to 7 years of our lives. This is incorrect. The first 1-2 years of a dog’s life are when the dog reaches maturity. The aging process then differs on the size of the dog. Smaller dogs tend to live a few years longer than larger dogs on average. Health, exercise and diet also affect the aging process in your dog. Most breeds of cats are considered “senior” at about 8-10 years old.
Although your older pet may still be very active and healthy, his or her body has become more susceptible to chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, failing vision and hearing, and a general weakening of the body. Instead of waiting until the appearance of one or more of these diseases, we can choose to be vigilant and to focus on all of the things we can do to make his or her senior years happy, healthy and enjoyable for the both of you.
There is a lot we can do to help pets age well, provided we know what is happening in their bodies. More frequent check-ups and simple blood and urine tests will help us keep ahead of the aging process.
We strongly encourage everyone with dogs and cats 7 years of age or older to schedule a wellness check up. We will give your pet a thorough physical examination, discuss your concerns, and can perform any recommended tests should as blood work, a urinalysis, and even an EKG or x-rays, if necessary.