The Elderly Pet Organization is a 501C3 non profit organization whose mission is to provide information and education about elderly pets and to help pet parents prepare for the illnesses and accidents that may afflict an aging pet.
As pets age, they require patience, compassion and love. When your pet was younger, he was mischievous and playful – and a lot of work. As your pet got older, you trained him and he became a fun and enjoyable part of the family. Now that your pet is older, you may not fully be prepared for some of the changes an older pet can face. Advances in vet medicine has made it possible for older pets to live much longer with medical conditions that they never could before. As your pet ages, he will rely on your more and more, not just to feed and walk him, but to care for him and take care of him. As pets age, their medical needs may change, and the level of care needed may also change. Our goal, with our organization, is to help people learn what to expect as their pet ages, especially for pet owners who may not be prepared for the many care options available today, that at one time, were not.
Our goal is to provide information and encouragement to pet owners who are faced with caring for an elderly pet who may develop a medical condition that requires care. We hope to add new information often to aid pet parents with information they might find helpful when caring for an elderly pet.
Our site includes some of the more common ailments elderly pets acquire. Not all are due to age, but many of these illnesses develop during a pets older years. A pet is generally considered elderly around age 7, so it may not be surprising to see some of these ailments appear around that time for your pet.
Some of the more common, age associated illnesses elderly pets may get include:
As mentioned, not all of these are age related, just more common as a pet ages. Here is a list of concerns that relate to elderly pets.
|Area of concern
|Increased veterinary care
||Geriatric pets should have semi-annual veterinary visits instead of annual visits so signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated. Senior pet exams are similar to those for younger pets, but are more in depth, and may include dental care, possible bloodwork, and specific checks for physical signs of diseases that are more likely in older pets.
|Diet and nutrition
||Geriatric pets often need foods that are more readily digested, and have different calorie levels and ingredients, and anti-aging nutrients
||Weight gain in geriatric dogs increases the risk of health problems, whereas weight loss is a bigger concern for geriatric cats.
||Older pets’ immune systems are not as healthy as those of younger animals; as a result, they can’t fight off diseases or heal as fast as younger pets
||As with older people, keeping older pets mobile through appropriate exercise helps keep them healthier and more mobile.
||Your pet’s vaccination needs may change with age. Talk to your veterinarian about a vaccination program for your geriatric pet.
||Pets can show signs of senility. Stimulating them through interactions can help keep them mentally active. If any changes in your pet’s behavior are noticed, please consult your veterinarian.
||Older pets may need changes in their lifestyle, such as sleeping areas to avoid stairs, more time indoors, etc. Disabled pets have special needs which can be discussed with your veterinarian
||Non-neutered/non-spayed geriatric pets are at higher risk of mammary, testicular, and prostate cancers.
Over the past few years, medicine has not only advanced for humans, but for pets as well. Because medical advances are so far along, pets are living longer and longer with conditions they never lived with or managed medically years ago.
Our goal is to provide information and education about these illnesses that were at one time considered to be a death sentence for a pet; but today, pet parents are managing medically and helping their beloved pets live much longer, happier lives with proper care and treatment. We have cared for many elderly pets over the years and have a wealth of knowledge and information you may not find on medical sites or even get from your vet.
Our site focuses not on diagnosing illnesses, but rather what to expect day to day when living with an elderly pet.
If you think that your elderly pet is exhibiting any of the symptoms discussed on our site, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to have your pet evaluated.
Should you have questions about the information on our site, please contact us. We are not medical doctors and the information on this site is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a replacement for medical care, when caring for your elderly pet.
Our goal is to help pet parents prepare for the unexpected.
For more information, read our blog