Senior Pet Care: Health Concerns to Be Aware of

We think of our dogs as eternal puppies who will be with us forever, no matter how big they grow. Even though you might want to deny that your pet is aging, it’s essential to watch out for senior pet health issues so you can help him live a better life. Continue reading to learn about common health issues in senior pets that may affect your pet in the future.

The Most Common Pet Geriatric Problems

The treatment of the geriatric pet varies depending on the individual needs and problems found. Listed here are some of the most common geriatric issues and general treatment recommendations:

Dental Disease

Dental disease and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) are common findings on a geriatric exam. Your veterinarian may recommend dog and cat dental care. Many pet parents are hesitant to put their senior pet under anesthetic for dental work, but doing so may be necessary if your pet suffers from advanced dental disease.

Nutritional Problems

A proper diet is crucial in the care of a geriatric pet. There is no better food for a senior pet. The best food to feed is determined by the individual animal’s specific problems or nutritional requirements. For example, obesity is a significant issue in older animals. Obesity is a primary concern in geriatric animals because it is directly related to decreased longevity and may contribute to other issues.


Unfortunately, cancer is a major issue for geriatric pets. Some common breeds, such as golden retrievers and boxers, are more susceptible to disease. Not every cancer must be fatal. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can significantly extend or cure your pet’s life. The type and location of cancer determine the prognosis. Ask several dog surgeons in case your pet needs surgery.

Metabolic Problems

Regular geriatric diagnostic testing has many benefits, but one of the biggest is the early diagnosis of various metabolic disorders. The most common is finding evidence of early kidney disease. Furthermore, they may identify underlying liver disease. In some cases, additional testing may be recommended. They may recommend other times, specific dietary or lifestyle changes, and medication may be initiated.

Heart Disease

Newly discovered heart murmurs are common in physical examinations of elderly pets. These murmurs are commonly found before a pet displays symptoms of any heart disease. A heart murmur in an older pet does not necessarily indicate that the pet has heart disease. Still, it does indicate that further testing is necessary.

Urinary Problems

Thirst, metabolic issues, or urinary tract infections usually cause excessive urination. Older pets may become urinary incontinent, leaking small or large amounts of urine when they lie down or sleep. Antibiotics will usually help if an infection causes incontinence. Vets can use other medications to treat the problem safely and effectively if the infection is not present.

Arthritis or Joint Problems

Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of pain in animals’ joints. While there is currently no way to stop the development of arthritis, therapy and dietary changes can help with symptoms. Signs include limping, fear of stairs, trouble getting up and moving around, discomfort when picked up, gnawing or licking at the affected area, and irritation. Ask a geriatric veterinarian in Zeeland about the best way to treat your pet’s joint pain if it shows discomfort.

Bottom Line

Aging is as difficult for your senior pet as it is for you. Taking your aging pet for regular wellness checks every six months to screen for these common health problems is one of the best things you can do for them. Keeping an eye on them at home and reporting any unusual behaviors to your vet can also help in the early detection of these illnesses. This will increase your pet’s chances of living a long and healthy life.