Family & Pets

How you can help your pet age gracefully

How you can help your pet age gracefully

It may surprise you to learn that once your beloved dog and cat turns seven, they are classified as a senior citizen.

Pets experience the effects of ageing just like their human owners, which can include changes to eyesight as well as behavioural issues. 

Greencross Vets’ chief veterinary officer Veronica Monaghan spoke to the Canberra Times about what you can do to help your pets age with grace as well as explaining what you need to know. 

"There are a number of health concerns pets can encounter as they get older, but owners can play their part in the quality of their furry friend's life by keeping an eye on them and providing appropriate care for their age," she said.

"If your pet is entering the senior age bracket soon, you can take precautions to help your pet live a long and happy life. Dogs and cats age at different times based on factors including their breed and size. Pet parents should adapt their pet's diet and exercise to suit their individual needs to help them age gracefully."

She also said that pet parents aren’t aware of different dietary and care requirements once they hit senior age.

"We recommend switching to dog and cat foods that specifically cater to seniors to make sure they're getting the correct nutrients for their life stage," Dr Monaghan said.

Your animal’s mood can also change from what you’re used to.

"Sometimes changes in behaviour can be linked to health issues, such as arthritis or tooth pain for example, so be sure to check in with your vet if you see any changes in your fur baby," she said.