Linda Ryder, D.V.M.

According to pet specialist Roxanne Hawn, 42% of dog families have K9s over 7 years of age, and 44% have older cats. Therefore, it is important to work closely with your vet to monitor, diagnose, and manage age-related conditions. For example, conditions worth tending to promptly include joint and mobility problems, cancer, diabetes, cognitive issues, coronary problems, and immune system disorders.

There are ways to help your pet live an enjoyable life even when these conditions exist.

Senior dogs often have urinary incontinence, and therefore may require an indoor potty option such as potty or pee pads. These pads vary in type and may be made of artificial turf, or be disposable or machine washable. Also, a ramp may be useful for when your pet must access the car. They involve less strain on joints. It’s very critical to buy one that will be safe relative to the pet’s weight.

For geriatric four-leggeds, feeding dishes may be necessary as well. They should be sturdy, rust-resistant, and kick proof. One should also consider the proper height of the dish and the gradient spill. Your vet can offer advice to be sure you meet your specific pet’s needs.

As they age, animals may also require orthopedic beds rather than just bed pillows or pads. This is especially true in the event of arthritis and hip dysplasia. It’s best to get a cover that can be removed easily to clean, and a bed that will retain its shape and loft. Some are specifically calibrated for larger animals.

Finally, as our pets age, we may need to make adjustments in their food. Again, most pets are considered to be seniors after age 7. Monitoring caloric intake, food textures, and content is important when age increases and exercise decreases. Your vet will factor in the breed, pet’s health conditions, and genetics to help you make a wise nutrition choice.

With close to half of the pet population being seniors, it’s essential to work with your vet to address aging issues when they arise and as they exist day-to-day.

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Veterinary services
for Dogs and Cats

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What areas do we serve?

House calls are available
in the following RVA areas:

Ashland, Beaverdam, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Glen Allen, Louisa, Mechanicsville, Midlothian, Montpelier, Powhatan, Richmond, Varina as well as areas of Louisa, Gum Spring and Chesterfield County.

Call us with your address including zip code and we can let you know if we come to that area.