Our Locations

Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital

7871 Stave Lake St E130

Mission, BC V2V 0B5

(604) 286-0160

Senior Pet Care FAQ

Time waits for no pet. Aging is a natural part of life, and while it might cause us distress to notice our once lively cat or dog starting to lounge more, it's important to understand that pets, like humans, will enter their golden years. The best thing we can do is to recognize this change and be there when it happens. The golden years of a pet can be one of the most loving times, as many senior dogs and cats will seek out more snuggle time at this age.

What does it mean to be a senior pet, and how can one take the best care of an older cat or dog? At Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarian gets these questions and more from our Mission area clients. Continue reading to get their answers and the answers to other FAQs regarding senior pet care. 

take care senior dog

What age does a pet become a "senior pet"?

Species, size, and breed will largely determine when a pet changes from "adult" to "senior adult". For example, healthy Balinese cats routinely reach the ages of 18 to 22 and generally aren't considered senior until around 14. However, most cats are considered to enter their senior years at around age 12. In contrast, a large dog, especially a large breed dog, is considered a senior pet at age 8, while smaller breed dogs get the designation closer to age 10.

How do I take care of a senior pet?

In those early senior years, you are apt to notice the gradual changes in your pet, such as gaining weight more easily, taking more frequent and longer naps, and generally being slower to move about. The best way to care for your pet is to be proactive and start reacting to these changes. Senior pets thrive best on a special diet designed for their lower energy levels and metabolism changes. You'll also want to consider products or alternatives around the house that will keep senior pets from jumping or having to jump, putting less stress on their joints and ligaments.

Are regular visits still needed for senior pets?

We recommend more frequent vet visits for senior pets. The health of a senior pet can change rapidly, and they can become unable to rebound from minor issues as easily as they did when they were younger. For example, anemia caused by fleas can change from an annoyance in a kitten or adult cat to potentially lethal in a senior cat. Twice a year or even more frequent veterinarian visits at your local Mission or Maple Ridge animal hospital is the best way to stay on top of senior pets' health.

Learn More and Schedule Your Visit

Get more answers about senior pet care by giving our friendly team at Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital a call!