Staying Healthy During The Golden Years

As our pets become senior, they have different care requirements than those of younger pets.

At what age does my pet become a senior? Generally, cats and dogs are considered seniors at around 7 years of age, keeping in mind that the number does differ slightly with dogs depending on their size. Large breed dogs have shorter life spans then small or medium sized dogs, therefore, can be considered seniors around 5 or 6 years of age

What special health care does my senior pet require?

Because our pets age a lot faster than we do, it’s important to have your senior pet examined regularly by your veterinarian. With age-related diseases, symptoms can be sometimes subtle and may be easy to miss. Regular exams and blood tests are perfect because your veterinarian can establish a baseline of what it’s “normal” for your pet, and it can also show any underlying conditions your senior pet may have developed.

Does my senior pet need to be on a special diet?

When pets become seniors they can experience pain in their joints which may make your pet reluctant to exercise, this could lead to weight gain which could put even more pressure on the joints. In order to keep your pet active and healthy, they may benefit greatly from a senior diet. Senior diets often come with reduced calories (Which help with unwanted weight gain), higher amounts of fiber (senior pets digestive processes are slower), and adequate proteins and fats (helps to keep good muscle mass and healthy skin and coat). Supplements may also be beneficial to add to your pet’s diet. Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids are great, not only to keep your pets coat healthy and shiny but can also help with brain function. Omegas have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Do I need to take safety into consideration with my senior pet?

Has your pet experienced hearing or vision loss? It is fairly common for senior pets to experience one or the other as they age. There are a few steps we can take to keep our pets safe, such as making sure to remove dangerous items from the path of your pet, and putting up gates when they cannot be supervised is a great way to keep your pet from injuring themselves. If you have hardwood floors in your home, area rugs and non-slip mats may also be a good choice. If your pet suffers from hearing loss using hand signals can be a great way for you to communicate with them.

Are there ways I can help my senior pets mental health?

Yes! You can teach a dog or cat new tricks. This is a great way to keep them young at heart and to give them mental stimulation. Engaging in interactive play is great for your pet, such as using puzzle toys or toys, in general, to introduce some stimulation and fun into their daily routine. Extra physical contact may also benefit your pet and they will appreciate you for the special attention. Belly rubs, therapeutic massages, and extra grooming, especially for pets that have a harder time grooming themselves.

With a little bit of extra special attention and care, we can help our beloved senior family members live as long as possible while feeling healthy and happy!

Written by Brittni Piercey, Veterinary Assistant


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Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions. Masks are mandatory for everyone coming inside our hospital. Maximum of 2 clients allowed into our exams rooms per appointment (there's not much room in there!)

Please note that it will take at least 24 hours for all prescription and food items to be ready for pick up (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".

Unfortunately, our bathroom is still closed to the public as it is in our radiology room.


If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday & Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

We are committed to providing a safe and respectful workplace. Abusive conduct or communications will not be tolerated and may result in denial of services.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital