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The Golden Years

Visit Our Los Angeles Veterinarian During Your Pet's Golden Years

Believe it or not, we all get old. You the reader, your friends, and even the earth you’re standing on is getting old. Although the idea of becoming elderly is generally something humans don’t like to ponder, it is something most people have come to terms with (most, not all). After all, the reality of is we all become elderly. As we welcome our golden years, all that wisdom we’ve obtained is unfortunately accompanied by years of experience (if you catch my drift). As we begin to take better care of ourselves the same needs to be done for your furry friends when they become seniors. Even though a new set of problems may arise, we here at the Larchmont Animal Clinic want to make sure you’re prepared for your dog or cat's golden years.

old dog golden years

Of course, not two dogs or cats are the same, but as a general rule, most pets over 7 years should be seen as becoming a senior pet. This is the best time for preventative care and to learn the signs of possible problems.  However, a dog’s size may help determine when they are elderly. It is important to recall that this is generally the case for some not all dogs.  Small dogs, under 20 pounds may live longer and be considered seniors at 9-13 years. Dogs 21-50 pounds may live upwards to 9-11 years, dogs 51-90 pounds about 7-10 years, and giant breed dogs over 90 pounds about 6-9 years. In the case of cats, it is difficult to ascertain when they are seniors. Instead of it being determined by their size, seniors are sought by environmental factors (indoor/outdoor), genetics, and overall health. Notwithstanding all those factors, customarily cats are considered elderly at 12 to 15 years. If you are worried about not being able to determine if your pet is a senior here are some common signs of aging; lightened or white hair/ whiskers, loss of hearing or vision, sleeping a lot more/ lethargic, and eating less. Despite these signs being worrisome, fear not as they are common and just the reality of life (excluding whiskers, everything listed humans get as well). If any of these problems are spotted or arise it’s time to schedule an appointment with the Larchmont Animal Clinic. Once here we will have guidelines and tips for you to follow. Just as you follow your doctors’ recommendations (and of course our mothers) it’s best to implement these plans into fruition. After a life of dedicated love, you only want the greatest life for your best pal.

 We suggest that your senior pet is seen more than once a year. One annual exam is fine for cats and dogs when they are young and healthy (remember vaccines) but with age comes risk. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry. Along with these visits, we may want to perform blood tests,  x-rays, and ultrasound. Again, these are all necessary precautions to ensure your loved ones golden years are lived out happily and comfortably. The next is fairly easy to grasp because it is something humans do as well as we age. We encourage a healthy lifestyle by using nutritional supplements, providing regular exercise, and healthier treats (a bit of cantaloupe for your cat and carrot pieces for your dog). You are your pet’s best friend and the first one to notice changes in your pet’s day to day condition.  Exercise is essential during these years but if you begin to notice your furry friend struggling to get up after resting or resisting climbing stairs, it’s time to check with us about various ways to keep your furry friend active and comfortable. You’ll notice there are many comparisons to man’s best friend and humans when it comes to aging. It’s a bond meant to be as they looked out for us for their lives, we shall do the same for the remainder of theirs.