The “live fast and die young” scenario has changed a lot for our pets in the last few years. Due to lifestyle changes of owners, improved nutrition and advancements in veterinary care, pets are getting older. This leads to us having to deal with health issues in dogs and cats that are similar to those in their human senior citizen counterparts – just without the audible complaining about it.
So, when are our pets classified as senior?
It differs according to the breed size. Great Danes live 10 years on average, they are senior at 4 years old, whereas a chihuahua with a possible 17 year life expectancy would be a senior from 10 years old. This all becomes a bit complicated, so why don’t we just follow international trends and start senior care at 7 years of age.
With puppies/kittens we know that for certain diseases, prevention is better than cure – why not employ the same practice for our older pets? Human medical aids have focused our attention on preventative tests and examinations that are crucial at certain ages – the same should go for our senior pets. This requires more regular visits to your vet for geriatric health checks.
I was always taught that anything with “too” in front of it is abnormal. E.g. eating too much can be just as bad as eating too little, and drinking too much or too little. It is exactly these behavioural changes that should alert us to the possibility of disease. As July is National Senior Month let’s focus our attention on what they really need.
The ageing process slows pets down both mentally and physically. Research has shown us how nutrition impacts cell function and as ageing starts on the cellular level, improved nutrition can really make a difference. Your vet can advise you on a brand new diet that will help improve your pets life from the age of 7 years.
Then my personal favourite – the SDMA test … a blood test that actually enables us to diagnose kidney disease up to 2 years earlier in dogs and 4 years in cats. In one year this test identified over 350 000 pets worldwide with probable kidney disease that conventional tests would not have detected.
We offer a senior health check and SDMA test for R250 for the month of July to pets over 8 years old. Make use of this offer to make the golden years some of the best years of your pets life.
FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
Get a 20% discount on the following products:
Advocate for cats
Advocate for dogs under 4kg and 10-25kg,
Advantage for cats and dogs - all sizes
Advantix for dogs weighing up to 25kg
Revolution for dogs between 2.5 and 20kg
Revolution for cats over 2.5kg
Seresto collars for cats
Seresto collars for small dogs.
LIMITED STOCK AVAILABLE
PRODUCT OF THE MONTH HILLS K/D + MOBILITY
Hills has just launched a brand new product to meet the needs of ageing pets affected by some of the most common afflictions seen in our senior furry companions with a single food!
Hills K/D + Mobility allows for the simultaneous nutritional management of arthritis, kidney disease, brain ageing and early heart.
Making life easier for senior pets
Raised bowls: This can help make both dogs and cats more comfortable eating and drinking.
Ramps and steps: These can help both dogs and cats get up onto beds or sleeping spots. As dogs age, they can also benefit from a ramp or steps to get into or out of the car or pool.
Non-slip carpets/runners or non-slip booties: Dogs, especially large breeds, often begin to struggle to get up and walk on smooth surfaces.
Extra soft, well padded or orthopaedic beds:
Cat litter boxes - use trays that have low entrances and high sides.
Night lights - older animals may not see as well.
Lower and more resting spots for cats.
More food and water points so they do not have to go as far to eat or drink.
Nets over pools.
Places or opportunities for older pets to take a break from young pets or children wanting to play
Sometimes dogs will start struggling to stay stable in the car - dog hammocks cover your back seats and prevent the dogs from falling off
Extra blankets or heating pads - older pets feel the cold more