Highland Park Senior Geriatric Pet Care VeterinaryHighland Park Senior Geriatric Pet Care Veterinary

We understand your pet is a member of your family and we want to ensure a healthy long life.  Have you noticed a slowdown in the daily activities of your pet?  Dogs and cats are considered geriatric after 8 to 12 years and small pets age more slowly than larger pets.

Because of improved veterinary care, we are able to assist with keeping your pets healthy and around longer than in previous years.  But, this has created a new set of age-related conditions.

Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as:

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • kidney/urinary tract disease
  • liver disease
  • diabetes
  • joint or bone disease
  • senility
  • weakness

Along with Geriatric pet problems that may arise, there are some possible behavior changes as well in your older pet, such as:

  • Increased reaction to sounds
  • Increased vocalization
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Decreased interaction w/humans
  • Increased irritability
  • Decreased response to commands
  • Increased aggressive/protective behavior
  • Increased anxiety
  • House soiling
  • Decreased self-hygiene/grooming
  • Repetitive activity
  • Increased wandering
  • Change in sleep cycles

Highland Park Senior Geriatric Dog Care VeterinaryHighland Park Senior Geriatric Dog Care Veterinary

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for dogs to live into their late teens.  Here are some tips to ensure your pet has a long, healthy life.

  • Visit your veterinarian once every six months for checkups
  • Feed your dog the best food possible
  • Keep exercising.
  • Maintain pet dental health
  • Maintain good pet grooming

Dog years        Human years (*dog size lbs)
7                        Small – Medium: 44-47
Large – Very large: 50-56
10                      Small – Medium: 56-60
Large –  Very large: 66-78
15                      Small – Medium: 76-83
Large – Very large: 93-115
20                     Small – Medium: 96-105
Large: 120

Highland Park Senior Geriatric Cat Care VeterinaryHighland Park Senior Geriatric Cat Care Veterinary

Changes in the cat’s body that are common as a cat ages include:

  • Altered sleep-wake cycle
  • Changes in thyroid function
  • Decrease in kidney function
  • Changes in vision
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Brittle/ingrown nails
  • Heart or circulatory problems
  • Decreased digestion and ability to absorb nutrients
  • Reduced ability to handle stress and/or changes in behavior
  • Changes in mobility/arthritis

As your cat gets older, there are some changes you should be expected to make, such as:

  • Make sure sleeping and eating areas are easily accessible
  • Adjust physically challenging areas for easy access
  • More frequent veterinary visits
  • Dispensing medication
  • Lifestyle accommodations


Cat years        Human years
7                               54
10                             63
15                             78
20                            97