top of page


Getting a "Little Up in the Years"?

Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions.


In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.

When does a pet become old?

It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age.


Owners tend to want to think of their pet's age in human terms.


While it is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years", there are calculations that can help put a pet's age in human terms.


See the chart to the right.

What kind of problems can I expect?

There are a number of issues you can expect. The list below shows the common eight problems that pet owners experience:

  1. cancer

  2. heart disease

  3. kidney/urinary tract disease

  4. liver disease

  5. diabetes

  6. joint or bone disease

  7. senility

  8. weakness

What kind of behavioral changes can I expect?

Before any medical signs become apparent, behavioral changes can serve as important indicators that something is changing in an older pet.


As your pet's owner, you serve a critical role in detecting early signs of disease because you interact and care for your pet on a daily basis and are familiar with your pet's behavior and routines.


If your pet is showing any change in behavior or other warning signs of disease, contact us at Pet Care. We can talk about the changes you have observed. 

  • Increased reaction to sounds

  • Increased vocalization

  • Confusion

  • Disorientation

  • Decreased interaction w/humans

  • Increased irritability

  • Decreased response to commands

  • Increased aggressive/protective behavior

  • Increased anxiety

  • House soiling

  • Decreased self-hygiene/grooming

  • Repetitive activity

  • Increased wandering

  • Change in sleep cycles

What is senility?

Senility in older animals means experiencing cognitive dysfunction or "brain fog". This "fog" is exhibited with loss of intellectual functions such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning that interferes with daily functioning.


Studies conducted in the early 1990s were the first to identify brain changes in older dogs that were similar to brain changes seen in humans with Alzheimer's disease.


Recent studies have been started on younger dogs in order to fully understand the effect of aging on the canine brain. Similar studies in young and older cats are also ongoing.

While researchers are still not able to identify any genetic cause of why certain animals develop cognitive dysfunction, there are drugs and specific diets available that can help manage cognitive dysfunction in dogs. If you think your pet is becoming senile, let us show you your options.

What are some common signs of disease?

Kidney Disease

  • Loss of appetite

  • Increased thirst

  • Increased urination

  • Decreased or no urination

  • Poor hair coat

  • Vomiting

  • Sore mouth

Urinary Tract Disease

  • Increased urination/spotting or "accidents" in the house

  • Straining to urinate

  • Blood in urine

  • Weakness

Heart Disease

  • Coughing

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Decreased tolerance of exercise

  • Decreased appetite

  • Vomiting

What are some common signs of cancer in pets?

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Difficulty eating

  • Lumps, bumps or discolored skin

  • Non-healing wounds

  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting

  • Sudden changes in weight

  • Unexplained swelling, heat, pain or lameness

  • Visible mass/tumor

What are some common signs of arthritis in pets?

  • Favoring a limb

  • Difficulty sitting or standing

  • Sleeping more

  • Seeming to have stiff or sore joints

  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs

  • Weight gain

  • Decreased activity or interest in play

  • Attitude or behavior changes (including increased irritability)

  • Being less alert

How can I help them stay happy and healthy?

Talk to the team at Pet Care about how to care for your older pet and be prepared for possible age-related health issues.


Increased veterinary care

Weight Control


Parasite Control

PetCare of Newberry old dog pic.jpg
PetCare of Newberry old dog and cat pic.
bottom of page