iStock_000017127254_MediumWhile many of our adult pets are still active, playful, and in good health; did you know that after six to seven years of age, your cat or dog is considered to be in his or her senior years?

Pets age much more rapidly than we often notice, leaving the early-stages of health issues undetected because we still see our pets as relatively young. While the terms senior or geriatric are sometimes difficult to define, most veterinarians will agree that your pet should see his or her veterinarian every six months, after six years of age.

Why is Senior Pet Care Important?

Because the risk of disease increases with age and many pets, particularly our feline friends, often do not physically show signs of illness, regular veterinary care is paramount to diagnosing disease or age-related issues early. Through early diagnosis, your pet is given a much better chance of recovery and an increased quality of life, free from unnecessary pain and deterioration.

Additionally, the six-month wellness exam acts as a consultation, allowing you to get recommendations on nutrition, mobility issues, and behavioral support specific to age and health status.

Signs of Aging

For most healthy pets, the transition into their geriatric years can be subtle and slow. However, there are some more overt age-related symptoms to notice, such as:

  • Decreased mobility
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Behavioral changes, such as increased hiding, sleeping, or independence (or a greater need for attention, in some cases)
  • Decreased interest in toys and activities
  • Changes in appetite and thirst
  • Of course, these can also be signs of the presence of an illness, which is another good reason to maintain consistent veterinary appointments.

    Senior Pet Wellness Month

    September is Senior Pet Wellness Month at Billings Animal Family Hospital and we are happy to offer you a 10% discount on senior wellness services.

    An affordable solution to advanced, thorough wellness care is through our unique, age-specific Wellness Plans, which include semi-annual physical exams and vaccines based on your pet’s needs. In addition, our Senior Wellness Plans for cats and dogs includes exam, core vaccines, blood pressure and eye pressure (tonometry) measurements, fecal sample, senior wellness blood testing, and urinalysis.

    What makes these plans so affordable is that they allow you to establish a payment schedule that encompasses all of your pet’s semi-annual and annual medical needs.

    We even offer add-on plans that can cover common age-related conditions, such as kidney disease arthritis, thyroid disease, and diabetes.

    Schedule an appointment for your senior kitty or pooch this month to receive great discounts on senior pet services. And, as always, our team welcomes your questions about comprehensive care to extend the life of your pet, improve his or her overall health, and ensure happiness and well-being through all life stages.