Posts Tagged ‘pet aging’

For many years, the standard measurement of a pet’s age was 7 years for every one year of life.  In other words, a 2-year-old dog was thought to be 14 in “human years.”  This is no longer the case. 

Research has shown that cats age more slowly than dogs, and that even among dogs there are differences.  For instance, large breeds tend to age faster and have shorter life spans than toy breeds.  (When speaking in terms of averages, however, it is important to remember that there will always be pets that exceed the standard and those that fall short.)

One of our favorite gadgets at the vet clinic is a chart which shows equivalent ages for cats and small, medium, and large dogs.  Be sure to ask about the chart on your next visit, if you’d like to find out how old your pet is in “human years.”

Click to enlarge. Graph by Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Check out these examples, using the guide for cats, small dogs (1-25 lbs), medium dogs (26-55 lbs) and large dogs (56 lbs and over.)

Let’s assume the pet is two years old:

  • The cat is 22 in human age 
  • The small dog is 26 
  • The medium dog is 25 
  • The large dog is 21

Now consider these pets at 7 years old:

  • The cat is 45 in human age
  • The small dog is 49
  • The medium dog is 58 
  • The large dog is 65

Finally, look at those same pets at 11 years old:

  • The cat is 59 in human age
  • The small dog is 65 
  • The medium dog is 77 
  • The large dog 99 

What do all these numbers add up to?
It means that, for a pet, major health changes
can occur in a short amount of time.

If your pet has not been to the doctor in over a year, it’s time for a check-up. Routine blood tests and urinalysis can catch disease in the early stages, while it is more likely to be treatable.

Call our office at 757-583-2619 or Contact Us to set up your pet’s appointment today.

This article originally appeared on August 15, 2011.

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October is National Pet Wellness Month

Follow these three steps to creating a wellness plan for your pet:

1. Schedule twice-a-year wellness exams. Why? Because our pets age faster than we do. Our dogs and cats are adults by age 2, middle-aged by 4, and senior citizens by 7. That means a pet’s health condition can change throughout the year. Earlier detection of diseases can lead to more effective treatments.

2. Protect your pet with vaccinations geared toward its lifestyle. Do you plan to take your pet camping or traveling? Is he going to dog parks? Boarding kennels? Doggie daycare? Grooming parlors? The more your pet is exposed to other animals and their habitats, the more protection it needs. But make no mistake: even pets that stay home can contract illnesses. 

3. Sign up for pet health insurance. We hope our pets will never become sick or injured – but some things in life are beyond our control. Where we can make a difference is in bearing the total cost of treatment. As a pet owner, you can decide to carry the financial burden yourself, or you can purchase health insurance for your pets and receive reimbursement for your expenses.

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